Top Challenges for Property Developers…and how to overcome them

No matter the size or scale of a property development, the journey from conception to completion is always unpredictable.

A detailed understanding of the market is a good beginning, but actively managing risks and creating strategies can mean the difference between success and failure. 

With this in mind, we’ve listed some of the most common challenges we see in property development, and considerations on how best to mitigate the risks involved.  Remember - enlisting professional help from experienced property professionals can save you time, minimise project risks, and ensure your development aligns with both community and council expectations.   

  1. Market Fluctuations:
    Challenge: Real estate markets can be volatile, affecting property values and demand.
    Mitigation: Conduct thorough market research before initiating a project. Diversify investments across different locations and property types to minimize the impact of market fluctuations.

  2. Financing Risks:
    Challenge: Difficulty in securing financing or unexpected increases in interest rates.
    Mitigation: Maintain a strong credit profile, establish good relationships with lenders, and explore various financing options. 

  3. Regulatory and Zoning Changes:
    Challenge: Changes in zoning laws or other regulations can impact the feasibility of a project.
    Mitigation: Stay informed about local regulations, engage with local authorities early in the planning process, and work with experienced professionals to navigate regulatory challenges. 

  4. Construction Risks:
    Challenge: Delays, cost overruns, or construction defects can impact project timelines and profitability.
    Mitigation: Conduct thorough due diligence when selecting contractors and subcontractors. Develop comprehensive contracts with clear timelines, milestones, and penalties for delays. Implement robust project management and monitoring systems. 

  5. Market Demand and Property Sales:
    Challenge: Difficulty in selling or leasing properties due to changes in market demand.
    Mitigation: Continuously assess market demand and adjust the project strategy accordingly. Consider market values of similar property and don’t ‘over price’ your product. Be realistic about your price expectations. Build flexibility into the project plan to adapt to changing market conditions. Consider pre-selling or pre-leasing to reduce the risk of holding unsold inventory. 

    Property Development Residential Home

  6. Economic Downturn:
    Challenge: Economic downturns can impact the purchasing power of potential buyers or tenants.
    Mitigation: Stress-test financial models for different economic scenarios. Maintain sufficient liquidity and reserves to weather economic downturns. Consider focusing on more resilient property types, such as affordable housing or offer product diversity. 

  7. Environmental and Site Risks:
    Challenge: Unexpected environmental issues or site complications.
    Mitigation: Conduct thorough environmental assessments before acquiring a property. Invest in proper due diligence to identify potential site risks. Obtain appropriate insurance coverage and factor in contingency plans for unforeseen challenges.

  8. Political and Geopolitical Risks:
    Challenge: Political instability or changes in government policies can impact property values and development plans.
    Mitigation: Stay informed about political and geopolitical developments. Diversify investments across regions and consider political risk insurance where applicable. 

  9. Community Opposition:
    Challenge: Local opposition from the community or stakeholders can hinder project progress.
    Mitigation: Consider developing a product type that is widely accepted within the community. Engage with the local community early in the planning process, address concerns, and communicate the benefits of the project. Develop a comprehensive public relations strategy to build support.  

    Property Development

  10. Technology and Innovation Risks:
    Challenge: Rapid technology changes can impact the relevance and competitiveness of a development.
    Mitigation: Stay abreast of technology advancements in construction, design, and property management. Integrate adaptable and future-proof technologies into the development plan. 

  11. Effective Project Management:
    Challenge: A lack of efficient project management practices could see the development off schedule and over budget. 
    Mitigation: Ensure oversight of construction, coordinating with contractors, managing permits, and addressing any issues promptly. Delays and cost overruns can negatively impact the overall profitability of the project. 

  12. Marketing and Branding:
    Challenge: A competitive property market can impact profitability or result in an extended selling period of the end product.  
    Mitigation: Engage and specialised project marketing team to develop a strong marketing strategy to promote your property effectively. This includes creating a compelling brand, utilising digital marketing channels, and showcasing the unique features of your development. Effective marketing can generate interest, attract buyers or tenants, and enhance the overall value of the project. 

Combining strategic expertise with financial acuity and on-site assessments, Opteon are a strategic addition to your investment advisory team.  Reach out to us today for a no-obligation consultation on how we can assist in elevating your property development projects.   

DISCLAIMER This material is produced by Opteon Property Group Pty Ltd. It is intended to provide general information in summary form on valuation related topics, current at the time of first publication. The contents do not constitute advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal advice should be sought in particular matters. Opteon’s valuers are qualified, experienced and certified to provide market value valuations of your property. Opteon does not provide accounting, specialist tax or financial advice. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. 

Ross Turner

General Manager - Commercial & Agri

Michael McNulty

National Director Operations - Commercial

Cam Olson

Head of Residential Development & Advisory

Alexander Ben

Regional Director – Commercial (VIC/SA)

Anthony Salce

Regional Director

Ben Farquhar

Director - Core Commercial

Bret Taylor

Managing Director

Duncan Cameron

Director - Specialised & Advisory

Gavin Lipplegoes

Director - Specialised & Advisory

Glenn Boyd

Director Specialised & Advisory

Karlie Wolfe

Director - Residential Development

Kevin Murphy

Director - Commercial, Sydney

Mark Quinn

Director - Specialised & Advisory

Matt Morton

Director - Regional Commercial & Agribusiness

Ray Codalonga

Director - Specialised & Advisory

Ty Winduss

Director - Commercial

Ben Giesecke

Regional Director - NT

Simon Pascoe

Regional Director - Residential

Tim Heath

Associate Director

Andrew Downie

Associate Director - Residential Development

Edward Ellis

Senior Commercial and Agribusiness Property Valuer

James Sharpe

Senior Commercial Property Valuer

Mark Baxter

Senior Valuer

Michael Smyth

Senior Valuer

Phillip Humphreys

Senior Certified Property Valuer

William Sutherland

Senior Valuer

Esteban Verdugo

Certified Practising Valuer

Eva Schmidt

Certified Practising Valuer

Henry Knight

Associate Director - Residential Development

Jennifer-Lee Sinclair

Certified Practising Valuer / Advisory Specialist

Scott Galloway

Certified Practicing Valuer - Residential Development

Tonya Brady

Certified Practising Valuer

David Gates


David McKenzie


Martin Tremain


Matthew Tall


Stuart Prowse


Calvin Rogers


Joe Stinnear

Certified Practicing Valuer