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How to Find a (Good) Land Development Company

Updated: Jun 21


Every land development company isn’t built the same. Some specialize in certain development types, in commercial or residential, and some are jacks-of-all-trades. No matter which one you need, finding a good land development company is paramount, as it affects your entire construction timeline. Here is our guide to help you.


Finding a good developer can be a challenge. If you don’t know where to begin, check out BC. Our team is diverse and multi-skilled, so you’ll have a real estate agent, skilled land developers, and contractors on your side — all of whom have access to attorneys if you want to do more research into your property!


If you’re not convinced, then read on to find out how to find a good land development company that’s right for you.

Find a Good Commercial Land Development Company


Let’s look at what to consider when choosing a developer for your project:


Type

Before you can find the right land development company — much less a good one — you need to understand what type of development your project requires. Commercial projects fall into one of 8 categories:


  • Multi-family (depending on the municipality codes)

  • Office

  • Industrial

  • Retail

  • Hospitality

  • Mixed use

  • Land

  • Special purpose


On top of all that, you need to know if the project calls for development that is from the ground up (the development of a property from scratch), build to suit (developing a land for a specific purpose), and redevelopment.


Experience and Background

Knowing a land developer's portfolio is a must to accurately determine if they are able to meet your needs. For example, a developer with an extensive background in small retail parcels may not be fit to develop land for a large hotel.


Take your research one step further and ask for a detailed track record along with their portfolio. This will allow you to see their time frames, quality, and project management skills. All of this will be extremely helpful in understanding if the land developer is right for your project and is experienced enough to handle it.


You should also look into the company’s financial stability, if possible. Ask if they fund their own projects, if they have a credible borrowing history from financial institutions, and if they have the funds to fulfill this project in its entirety. A good land development company should be forthcoming about their ability to fund everything they need to complete your project, through completion.


Finally, ask who is on their team. They should have a slew of skilled employees and contractors, including engineers, architects, general contractors, subcontractors, and connections with bankers, attorneys, and real estate professionals. A large and diverse team helps ensure your project will be done on time and within budget.


Timeline

While setbacks can happen, a good land developer will be able to provide you with a realistic timeline.


The early development stage involves conducting a marketing analysis, environmental site assessments, surveys, and acquiring permits and land. The second stage involves construction, project marketing, and pre-leasing. The final stage is occupying the property, which includes adding the final touches such as landscaping, leasing, and property management services.


Communication

Communication is key in any industry, especially in one as complicated as land development. As the project owner, you will need to set clear expectations before any ground is broken. On the flip side, a good land developer will be proactive in their communication with you. They will inform you of any roadblocks, restrictions, and updates.


While interviewing developers, listen to what they say and how they say it. The more they communicate with you before you hire them, the more sure you can be that they’ll communicate with you while the project is underway.


Choosing a Good Residential Land Developer

Residential and commercial development are not the same, therefore there are different things to consider when looking for a good residential land developer. You will still need to consider their background and finances, as well as other factors.


Background

Know your developer’s background! Do they have experience in the type of home you want to go on the land? Do they know the area and city codes? Have they worked in this neighborhood before?


Additionally, check their reviews and ask if you can contact previous customers to get a sense of how this land development company works.


Timeframe

Everyone knows the stigma around housing developments: building your own home will always take longer than estimated. Since development is the first phase of building — you can’t build until the land is developed — you will want to ensure your land development company will stick to your timeframe.


You can chat with previous customers of the company to know if they are really good at delivering their projects in the agreed upon time frames. Your other research, such as going over the detailed track records, will let you know if their word is true or not.


Financial Stability

You’ll want to be sure your land developer can complete the job on time and on budget, and not run out of funds halfway through it. Lack of adequate funds means either they can delay construction or use inferior materials to cover that. Therefore, your starting investigation must cover the financial status of the company.


You can use business reports or ask stockbrokers or bankers to know about financial data of the real estate company.


Reputation

The company’s track record can give you the most accurate picture of how they get their job done. How are they viewed in the industry by their clients? How do they run their business?


When you’re interviewing them, ask about their delivery times, quality of materials, if they have any connections with local suppliers or professionals, and ask for clarification on any negative reviews you found online. A good land development company will know exactly what went wrong and will have an answer on how they remedied the problem, which is exactly what you want to hear.


Pay Attention to the Quote

Just because you may be quoted at a premium price, does not always mean you will receive premium work.


Several quotations may include extras charges for which you should confirm upfront. Chances are the costs of certain materials or services may go up from the estimated original quote. You should ask the contractor to notify you in advance about any projected spikes in costs from time to time so that you can adjust your budget accordingly. Knowing any price hikes at the last moment is nothing but a sudden shock!


If you don’t know where to start, check out BC online or give us a call at 602-492-9242. Our highly skilled team of land developers will be happy to answer any questions you have!


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