A reflection on my first property development,located in Dingley Road, London

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  • Adrian Cormican

You may well have seen this property on our LinkedIn before. The property looks impressive in my opinion. However, beneath the surface is a cauldron of issues that have been ignored for several years.

Way back in December 2013, my first child was about to be born. In line with growing up and becoming an adult, I thought it was well overdue that I ‘had a go’ at property developing. So, with all my wisdom and my ‘I know what I am doing’ attitude, I put together a consortium to buy the site below. Fast forward nearly eight years, we are still stuck with the building, and I say stuck, as in truth I wanted it to develop, sell and recycle the money that was deployed.

I could tell you all the pitfalls and issues, and believe me, there has been at least six handfuls, but ultimately what I come back to is the fact the directors were never well aligned.

Let me expand on that. Whilst I knew the other two directors very well – one being a school friend from the age of 11, there was no reporting line, as no one felt they had to report what they were doing, or for that matter – not doing!

There was no such thing as governance, the bank accounts were set up for one director to do as he wanted. There was no cost control, nor any support for each other. Quite simply, I wish I had never found the property, but that story is for another day.

Nonetheless, there is thankfully a silver lining after all the above. We have restructured the business and one director has been removed.

Since then, we now have weekly meetings to ensure all documents are moving efficiently to where they need to go. We have a business plan, which sounds simple, but we didn’t originally have one, probably because we all thought we didn’t need it.

There is a conscious effort to improve every moving part of the business which has been neglected for so many years. Oh, and I am still in business with my school friend, that friendship is not broken and that means a lot.”

Adrian will be able to share more of his insight in this month’s webinar: Property Development Finance: where is the market post-COVID-19? Join him and Martyn Tuesday 16th November at 08:30 am by registering here.

Author: Adrian Cormican