​Why develop property?

By Jo Chivers
I set off at 6.15am this morning for my development site inspections. It's a two hour drive from Sydney to the Hunter Region where Property Bloom develops property for our clients.  

After my first four inspections I stopped to eat my packed lunch and found myself reflecting on just how lucky I was.  I didn't feel like I was working, not like the way I worked all through my twenties and thirties.  That was fierce, career ladder climbing type of work where you had to continually be proving yourself and dealing with office politics. Very stressful but that's what we had been taught to do. Work hard and earn your success.  

Since starting my own property development project management service over twelve years ago, I have actually been living my dream. I do what I love and it's flexible for my family.  But it wasn't all beer and skittles. There is the unknown you need to contest with when starting your own business...forget about the safety net of a salary, no holiday pay and no superannuation contributions covered by others. You are literally on your own and it's sink or swim.

My personal motivation to make it work was my kids and our future. I didn't want to be in a situation like my parents with no savings and relying on the government pension to live. It's sad to work hard all your life and then be at the mercy of others. 

My goal is to build enough wealth to support my family, have a bloody good time doing so and retire young. But, as I'm doing what I love, retirement is not going to be any time soon. 

Over time, I've developed a system that means my business can run efficiently without my daily direction because I have built up trustworthy relationships and have great staff.  I am focussed on refining our property development process and to become more and more efficient in our development management. 

Today during an interview with a well regarded, national financial newspaper I was asked - 'why develop property?'

'Why wouldn't you?' is what I wanted to say but then I remembered that whilst most property investors understand that buy and hold is a good idea. To buy, add value and hold is an even better investment strategy. Adding value doesn't have to mean spending money immediately. 

I explained to the journalist that as a starting point, be mindful that when you buy an investment, look for property that can be developed either now or down the track. You may find two properties with similar price points but one could have superior development potential. It might have a larger land component, it may have subdivision potential, it may have opportunity to improve the floor plan within the same area and it may have some good growth potential based on future government plans, infrastructure upgrades and potential policy changes.  

Developing property just makes sense.  There are so many different development strategies you can use and that's the fun bit...working out what the best strategy is for you.  

“I was bitten by the property bug, there was no turning back.”

Jo Chivers proves that women can indeed have it all- a career that you are passionate about and a family.  While all of this sounds great, it does require hard work, dedication, perseverance and a bit of risk-taking.

Jo’s love of property development inspired her to leave her corporate career and pursue her true passion. After educating herself in property investing, she started building up her own property portfolio. After purchasing a few blue chip properties in Sydney, she soon realised how negatively geared they were and began researching outside of Sydney. She discovered a more affordable, large region of NSW where she completed her first property development.  Soon her friends were asking her to find them sites and manage their developments. 

She realised there was a need for an all encompassing project management service and her business Property Bloom™ was born.  Ten years down the track, she has developed over 60 properties for clients, creating literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity and high end yields.