Ever wondered how the big names in property development “made it” from where they started? Ever wondered if you can make it, too? Well, you can! With men like Harry Triguboff and Jason John Byron having paved (and still paving) the way, you can venture out to completing your property development journey by following time-proven steps that they have taken themselves. After all, men like them were once just like you before arriving where they are now.

So, if you’re ready to enter the exciting (and profitable!) world of property development and want to know how to start and see it through the end, keep on reading.

Contents

Part 1

Harry Triguboff: Australia’s Most Successful Property Developer 

Part 2

But Wait—What is Property Development?

Part 3

Here’s What We Can Learn from Harry Triguboff

Part 4

Jason John Byron and His System: The 12 Stages of Development

Part 5

Is Property Development for Me?

Part 6

Here Are Other Stories To Satisfy Your Curiosity

Harry Triguboff: Australia’s Most Successful Property Developer

In 1960, Harry Triguboff arrived in Australia in his late 20s after already starting a career in the textile business in two different countries. An enthusiastic businessman, he went on to build his first block of apartments. At a time when his contemporaries had their eyes on buying single-family houses, he thought out-of-the-box and dared into apartment developments. Soon after—at just 30 years old—he founded the apartment-tower development company, Meriton, which currently has a strong presence in Sydney and southeast Queensland.

To date, Triguboff has put up more than 75,000 apartments—which happily gives merit to his nickname as ‘High Rise Harry’. It’s no wonder that he has become the country’s most successful residential property developer. Also, perhaps you’ve heard about it: In 2019, Forbes dubbed him as one of the richest people in Australia.

READ MORE: Meriton’s Harry Triguboff: Extended Interview

You have to work hard. The more money you have, the harder you have to work. If you think that by having money you work less, you’ll soon won’t have it.

Harry Triguboff

But Wait—What is Property Development?

In a nutshell, real estate development or property development is the business of developing, buying, renovating and converting land or buildings to give them a higher use-value. A property developer is aptly, therefore, an entrepreneur who adds value to property or land.

And compared to property investment, property development—when ventured into with the right planning, know-how and strategies—can potentially yield considerably higher returns. And that is precisely what the property development billionaire Harry Triguboff has done.

To succeed, you have to work hard. And you must pick the right subject where you want to work hard. So, you must also be good at what you do. And you must be happy at what you do. If you have all those things, you’ll succeed.

Harry Triguboff

Here’s What We Can Learn from
Harry Triguboff

Certainly, Triguboff did not arrive where he is now without living out key principles and applying them in building his business in property development. 

Here are four big things we can learn from him:

       1. Know where you excel best and stick to it

       2. Consistently work hard and enjoy what you do

       3. Value your workers or the people you work with

       4. Understand what people want

Without a doubt, these points influenced the strategies of many notable Australian property developers—including property development coach, Jason John Byron. However, these principles weren’t only what Byron learned from Triguboff. In fact, he discovered what he calls the ‘one simple formula’ that Triguboff used to achieve success in the real estate market.

Now, [Harry Triguboff] did not go and become a famous real estate agent. He didn’t go to university; he didn’t pick up power tools. He wasn’t a builder. He was the boss of a system that he was able to implement on a very small development and make high profits from it.

And that’s exactly what I show people. I show people the secrets behind his success.

Jason John Byro

And speaking from experience, I have had the opportunity to attend Jason John Byron’s course, the PDS Bootcamp, twice—in 2017 and 2018. And let me tell you, he does not disappoint.

Since applying his tips to one of my commercial property developments, I’ve been able to find reliable and excellent tradesmen to complete my project. Not only am I able to produce quality property development projects for potential clients with the right people on my team, but I’m also able to do it with a sustainable budget!

READ MORE: $30 Million-Dollar Professional Property Development Hero

Jason and I still converse regularly. And he has been more than a good mentor in property development—he’s been a good friend. Let me tell you more about him.


Jason John Byron and His System: 
The 12 Stages of Development

In 2008, Jason John Byron shifted gears and became a professional property investor and developer after 20 years of being a cameraman in the media industry. From starting with a deposit of only $14,000 on a house to reaping a massive multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio eight years later, Byron has proven that the system he modelled from Triguboff is the real deal.

Now, Jason shares the specific strategies you can use to kick-start your adventure in real estate or property development.

That’s right: You don’t need to have a lot of money. You just need to be willing to learn, think smart, apply the system, and make the leap. Here are Jason’s 12 stages of development that make up the system behind Triguboff’s success. 

So, check out this time-tested strategy divided into 12 practical stages towards property development success!

Stage 1 : What Is Your Mindset / Business / Goals

This stage is all about developing the right mindset before venturing into the business. Sure, just as in all kinds of business, property development can be daunting and risky to a certain extent. However, the question is: Will you choose to overcome those fears and move forward? Once you’ve decided to move forward, you set your goals for your business.

And part of having the right mindset and pinpointing your goals is becoming the type of property developer that responsibly handles money, values branding, and uses all the available resources, like technology!

When Jason and his wife, Amy, realised that their work should not simply be about cash flow, they weighed the option of venturing into property development. Naturally, fear was there. They both knew there were risks, and they recognised they had certain negative attitudes that were holding them back. That’s when they decided to change how they viewed the business of property development and eventually set smart goals that would help carry them to success.

It’s all about breaking things down and seeing every aspect of each task. Seeing the big picture but understanding all the nuances that go into making that big picture.

Jason John Byron

This case reminds me of a conversation I had with successful property entrepreneur Nhan Nguyen. He lives by the philosophy of balancing understanding oneself better and developing the needed skills in property development—which, I believe, is a mindset that helps keep developers ready for their projects from the very beginning. 

Nguyen said: “I think some people go to learn about the property, they go wanting to learn about the strategy, which I believe is important. However, I believe the more important thing is learning about themselves and personal development, and the balance between the two, which is technical skills and personal skills, really allows you to become a much better investor because you’re aware of yourself…”

Sure enough, because he had the right mindset, Nguyen worked out effective strategies that allowed him to quit his full-time job and shift his full focus on property development by age 23!

Based on Jason John Byron and Nhan Nguyen’s personal experiences, having the right mindset helps steer property developers in the right direction.

READ MORE: A Million Dollars Profit From Property Developments: Nhan Nguyen

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Stage 2 : Target Area

Now that you’ve developed a good mindset and overcome negative attitudes or fears, it’s time to do the work: Research. During this stage, you must ask the biggest key questions: Where do I go? How do I find potential areas? What areas work for the kind of development I have in mind? What’s the trend among people nowadays? And part of that research is learning and utilizing online and offline techniques to get the most data or knowledge on potential site areas.

It’s all about looking into the details—the statistics and the trends—and as Harry Triguboff says, “Always understand what people want!” 

In Jason’s case, he and his team have developed a process or system they call the “8-Step Targeting Process” to help them with their development of multi-unit homes. And they use available resources like Google Earth Pro among others in getting the information they need.

The key to successful property development is to know all there is to know about an area you’re considering. … Beyond just statistics, it’s all down to understanding people and lifestyles, and looking at trends into the future.

Jason John Byron

Stage 3 : Acquiring a Site

This stage is exactly that in a nutshell: acquiring a potential site. After the research and deciding the best area to focus on, you can now begin looking for specific potential sites that would work best for your property development project.

Jason—with already established development strategies—uses various methods in acquiring the best site for any of his projects, such as letterbox dropping, meeting with real estate agents, or even collaborating with other developers.

Never assume what applies in one market is the same as another.

Jason John Byron

In fact, when Jason and Amy set out to find the first property they would work on, they talked with their accountants. Since their goal was to find something that would generate positive cash flow, they made sure that their current financial structure at the time would allow them to attain that when they made their purchase. 

They met the necessary people and did the work. Soon, they bought their first property 7 hours from Sydney—and, like what people would say, “the rest is history”.

Stage 4 : Site Due Diligence

Now, it’s time to build your ‘Dream Team’, the group that will make up your key, experienced and smart individuals who will help ensure the very best possible outcomes for your property development project. And then you make the checklist that will veritably determine or influence the quality of your site.

Jason made sure that he constantly built relationships with a wide range of people, consultants or potential consultants who could be part of his Dream Team. Then he and his established team will work on ticking off items on the checklist for getting the full picture of the project—Property and Land Searches, Feasibility, Town Planning, Design, Engineering, and Market Demand.

Make sure you have every contingency covered and no mistakes are made. ‘Sorry, we just got so busy’ is never a satisfactory excuse.

 Jason John Byron

In my experience, before I applied Jason’s tips for this stage, the biggest struggle I had in the past was finding tradesmen with a “Proven Track Record” or PTR (those who are reliable and can do the work at reasonable prices). But since I began applying one of his tips—that is, to pay my tradesmen as soon as the bill comes in—I was able to ensure they would work on the job first, because they were confident and assured that they’d get paid immediately after the work was completed.

Jason’s tip has certainly enabled me to work remotely with tradesmen and to manage a property development project from home. My project is currently over 300 km away, so take it from me when I say that Jason’s strategies have been a real game changer and time-saver for me.

Similarly, Nhan Nguyen has always valued surrounding himself with reliable people. He has been able to handle all his tasks and manage all his property development projects by leading multiple groups of trustworthy teams who assist him in all his ventures. 

Having your own dream team—or dream teams, for that matter—is evidently worth the investment in your time and effort in building relationships in property development.

Stage 5 : Financial Feasibility

For this stage: Knowing the numbers and learning and mastering the language of the property development business is a must—specifically, in terms of coming up with an efficient feasibility quickly to review deals faster.

When Jason goes through this stage of the project he’s working on, he learns the numbers and determines how he does his own feasibility. He then tailors that feasibility to the project and processes. He uses feasibility software programs like “Estate Master” to help him out.

Then he deals with the three biggest variables in development framed in these questions: 

  • What can you buy the land for? 
  • What can you build the units for? 
  • What can you sell the units for?

And of course, he gauges the potential costs from beginning to end.

You will come across various feasibility programs and spreadsheets on your property journey. Doing your own feasibility is the key.

Jason John Byron

Founder of Urban DC Danny Ciarma actually had the life-changing a-ha moment concerning the importance of financial feasibility in property development. It was in university when a lecturer explained how he could calculate the gross area of a building, apply a building rate against it then draw up a feasibility and work out a profit by first drafting an efficiency and applying a sales rate against the saleable area. 

And sure enough, that taught him the economics behind property development—a moment that has stayed with him since he began developing his projects. 

So, by coming up with a good feasibility for your property development projects, you are one step closer to moving onto the next stage of development efficiently.

READ MORE: Game of Life: Playing Real Monopoly in Property with Danny Ciarma


Stage 6 : Development Application

As Jason aptly puts it: “Your Development Application, or Development Permit as it is called in some states, is a critical stage requiring detailed processes.” In this stage, you collaborate with your consultants to make improvements on your best development solution for submission to the relevant council of your property development project.

Jason makes sure that he follows the Development Application (DA) process of the area of his project site. For instance, after he works out the most feasible type of development for a site, he calls a pre-DA meeting; he discusses relevant details between him, the town planner, the architect and council assessors. They then pinpoint possible objections that might affect his Development Application and determine the best solution which will garner the council’s support.

It is so important that all your A-Team are on the same page. Legal, financial, design, building, everyone.

Jason John Byron

This stage is definitely one of the most impactful ones in property development. In fact, property developer and real estate investor Rod Pascoe recognised that fact. For instance, in one of his projects, he and his team looked at a property in Maroochydore that had an existing house with an empty backyard, which could be subdivided and sold off as land. They initially determined that they had two options for completing the deal. 

So, Rod Pascoe decided to go through a detailed Pre-DA meeting process with the relevant people to assess all sides.

Option 1: Subdivide the block into two, sell off the land at the back and then renovate the house at the front. (This choice would be a fast approach and generate a good profit.)

Option 2: Subdivide the block into three. They would have to build a duplex on the back block, apply for a separate subdivision into two, and then renovate the house at the front. (This alternative would achieve a higher profit. However, this option would be a bit riskier due to the extended time frame it would entail to build and get further DA approval.)

Both these scenarios were brought into the meeting. Rod Pascoe and his team had looked at the previous history of the other similar developments within the area since they wanted to know if the second option could work. They worked out the details in the meeting, noted down the possible objections and established the best solution that the council would most likely support.

To make the long story short, the council did not approve the second option because they were not interested in lower-density developments but preferred medium to higher density developments such as units. 

Fortunately, Rod Pascoe and his team had decided they were not prepared to take more risks. So, they readily walked away without proceeding further—thus, helping them save time and money in the long run on this property development project.

READ MORE: Ditching Swimming Community To Be An Investor and Developer at 21

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Stage 7 : Finance

This stage is about keeping up with the details of today’s financial requirements and demand to make sure you receive finance for your property development project.

In Jason’s case, he ensures that he employs an experienced and qualified commercial broker to help him in the overall financial aspect of the project—from the due diligence phase to the purchase of land to construction finance. As his method in property development is to break down the big picture and address the individual parts within his process until he arrives at the finished product, he oversees the finances with a keen and disciplined approach.

An experienced commercial finance broker is a must!

Jason John Byron

Of course, it is true that this stage can be quite challenging. But with the combination of taking the best steps and collaborating with the right people in addressing the financial aspect of the business, you can keep up with the needs of this stage and move on to the next one.

Stage 8 : Marketing and Selling

This part is one of the most important stages. This stage involves giving your project, the finished product, a robust presence in the market that is, more often than not, competitive. And one way to do that is to make sure that your physical or online materials for marketing promote your property development project (product) for sales.

One action step that Jason does at this stage is producing a brochure par excellence that sells the lifestyle, story, and vision they’ve created for their property development brand. Another way he markets his projects or brand is through creating a website using helpful online operations like Wix! And in selling his ‘product’, he explores different avenues, depending on the project. In fact, he makes it a point to try to do something different each month.

You want to take the prospect on a journey, appeal to their senses, make them feel like ‘Wow, I’d really like to live there!

Jason John Byron

It’s likewise important to note that this stage should be carefully thought out from the very beginning. Sam Elbanna, the current managing director of CPM Realty in Australia, recognizes this truth. He has perpetually built his wealth not necessarily from selling his properties but by investing in property through efficient project marketing. Quite simply, his project marketing company works on multiple property development projects at different stages of completion with proven efficacy. 

READ MORE: How to Be an Investor at 18 and Build Your Own Real Estate Agency

Sam Elbanna strongly upholds that successes or failure in marketing happen at the beginning and not at the end of any project—that is why, from the very start, you need to have a plan with marketing done correctly and properties priced correctly. With that plan, you then must have a good strategy and the flexibility to move with the market when necessary down the road.

It’s good to note that marketing and selling are as important as doing due diligence in property management.

Stage 9 : Building Approval

This stage tackles the need for a developer to have a very good understanding of his or her plans. In order to get the formal certificate for approval for you and your team to start building, you must be organised in managing your consultants—architect and engineers included. That will help pave the way for a seamless start to construction.

Jason emphasizes that a developer is also a project manager. So, a developer manages his or her builders, looks at the program, as well as reviews the timeline, variations, and budgets. And before a developer starts building, he or she needs to ensure that documentations are in order, especially on all contracts.

The Building Approval (BA) is critical. It is basically your detailed drawings from your DA-approved plans

Jason John Byron

It’s like holding a deck of cards in your hands, making sure you are aware of what’s there. Danny Ciarma actually explains it well when he said: “One minute you’ve got your design on marking up plans, then next minute you’re looking at a feasibility, trying to work out cash flow and an internal rate of return. And the next minute you’re talking to the lawyer about an agreement; next minute you’re talking to a builder about construction techniques and types of materials. You need to know a little bit about everything.”

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Stage 10 : Construction

Yes, that’s exactly it: This stage is about constructing the end-product of all your researching, planning and numerous meetings. All the previous stages have led to this one. Specifically, the construction process starts with finding a reliable and trustworthy builder or the actual person who will be in charge of running the construction.

And for Jason, the construction process involves four steps that starts with getting quotes for his “proven track record” builder and ends with the documentation of the construction certificate and the go-signal to start building.

Construction is such an exciting time. We start to see all our dreams and imagination becoming reality.

Jason John Byron


Stage 11 : Completion

Now that construction is over and everything is set in their place, the next stage is making sure that the finishing touches are all accounted for—from council plan sealing to settling the titles at the end.

In the final few weeks before Jason and his team finish construction of a property, they’re already mulling over the council plan sealing since they need to think about the titles. He and his team always keep in mind the fact that they only get paid after they get the titles. 

So, Jason determines the final details like the surveyor’s visit, wrap-up meetings with the builder, and submission of the survey documentation to the council. Once those are settled and he and his team have the titles, he can give their buyers time to settle and move in.

The challenge is to achieve an efficient and timely finishing line.

Jason John Byron

Undeniably, the finishing touches is one of the most exciting parts of property development. In fact, Danny Ciarma shares that he particularly enjoys seeing how potential purchasers come along and fall in love with the vision he put on paper—a vision that has been made into a finished structure right before their very eyes.

Stage 12 : Creative Strategies

Of course, you may now have completed everything necessary for your property development project, but that doesn’t mean you stop there. This final stage is all about exploring the many opportunities available out there to get into a good deal—not only for you but also for your potential clients or buyers.

Whenever Jason made the finishing touches on a property, he thought about the different ways he could get a development deal together or different ways they could attract finance. He assessed which was ideal for that specific project—Joint Ventures, Vendor Finance, or Capital Raising, among others. Then once he had looked at it, he chose one that would best fit the project, thus yielding a win-win situation for him and his clients.

We have all the processes in place. We’re organised, we have some great experience. Now we have to keep thinking creatively, be innovative, think outside the square.

Jason John Byron

‘Is Property Development for Me?’
— Start today!

All right, so now that you’ve had a small taste of the juicy basics of how to get started in property development and see it through to completion, you’re now left wanting more. And more than that, perhaps, YOU actually dream of chartering your way in property development, aspiring to be like Harry Triguboff and reaching success along the way. 

Maybe, you wish to start soon with one project first? As Jason once shared, “Even if you just build one house, that’s property development.”

Perhaps you dream of being the next developer who vigorously thrives in the Australian market like Danny Ciarma with 20 successful development projects in the span of 15 years?

READ MORE: Developers Who Make Money in the Sydney Property Market

Well, then, it’s high time to invest in yourself and in the business of pursuing profit-yielding excellence in property development and enrol in Jason’s complete course.

 Just click here and learn how to make big profits from small developments.

Take it from me: It’s worth it.

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  • Managing Director, Harry Triguboff
  • These Are the 13 Things Harry Triguboff Can Teach You About Being Successful
  • Harry Triguboff’s Forbes Profile
  • Harry Triguboff Story - Bio, Facts, Networth, Family, Auto, Home | Famous Businessmen

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