Case Study

Supporting New Property Developers

We work with property developers across the spectrum, from first-time developers, to established developers like the Peebles Group, and Kāinga Ora. 

How we help new property developers achieve their vision

We work with property developers across the spectrum, from first-time developers, to established developers like the Peebles Group, and Kāinga Ora.

Brothers Loren and Cam Burnett came to meet us, looking for a construction partner for their first development. They had land in Addington and planned to build four houses on the site.

We asked Loren what it was like to work with Consortium on their first property development.

“You don’t know what you don’t know”

Loren explains: “Cam and I both work in the construction industry, I’m a structural engineer and he’s a project manager. We started investing in property about six years ago. But we knew developing our own properties was a good move if we wanted to fast track our portfolio.

“We got in contact with Consortium when our development was still in the concept planning stage. We wanted people who we’d enjoy working with. I knew Brooke was a good guy. And Consortium have a great reputation.

“Brooke was great because he understood that we were first time developers. As a result, we had knowledge gaps, and we underestimated some things. And our architect had just started up a new practice. So, we were inexperienced developers with an inexperienced architect. We were all on quite a steep learning curve and you don’t know what you don’t know.”

A collaborative planning process & support with consents

At Consortium, we’ve worked with many developers over 20 years, and we know how important it is for you to have the right construction partner from day one. So, our advice in your planning stages is provided on a good will basis, to make sure you get the best results and there are no surprises along the way.
We’ve also learned that no matter what size your development is, there are always unknowns when it comes to consents. We have a Council case manager, who we work with to resolve any consent issues on our builds. So, when Loren and Cam ran into difficulty, we knew how to help. Loren remembers:

“Unfortunately, our first designs didn’t meet the criteria of the district plan. So, we had to evolve the designs to solve those problems and meet Council’s requirements.

“Consortium have a good relationship with the Council, which helped us get answers to our questions and progress our consents. Their experience also helped us improve our plans. They pointed out things and said: ‘This isn’t quite right,’ or: ‘This is how we’d usually solve this,’ or: ‘Are you sure this meets the district plan? We’ve seen this before and we don’t think it does.’ They helped us choose cost-effective materials and advised on building techniques. They ended up doing a lot of collaborative work with us in the planning stage, and it paid off.”

Working within your budget

The Consortium team will do all we can to get your build costs within your budget. We use our years of experience to identify cost efficiencies for you at the planning stage. We do this with value engineering, presenting different solutions so your project can be as cost effective as possible, while still sticking to your vision.

Loren explains how important that was for him: “Before we started working with Consortium, we considered a tender because of our budget. But we decided we’d rather work with Consortium to get the price right. Our initial build costs were too high, and Consortium were really good at bringing costs down to within our budget. So, we didn’t go for tender to any other construction companies. Consortium were helping us, and we enjoyed working with them.

“Consortium were also particularly helpful with giving us early pricing. This was important because, being our first development, we didn’t have any credibility yet. So, to get finance from the bank it was crucial that our numbers were correct.

Resolving problems fast when the ball gets dropped

Property developments are complex projects and sometimes things go wrong. Because of our experience and strong relationships with our subcontractors, we can resolve issues fast, and find solutions. And we’re not afraid to put our hand up if we get something wrong.

With Loren and Cam’s project, an omission in scoping led to a cost runover in one element of the project. This doesn’t happen often on our builds, but when it does, we make sure it doesn’t cause problems for our clients.
Loren explains what happened. “Some miscommunication around scoping the landscaping led to a few cost runovers at the end of the project. Being first time developers; money was super-tight. But Consortium were super-good about it. They admitted their part in the error and we ended up coming to a solution where we met halfway.

“We were already in talks with them for our next project, so they wanted to look after us, acknowledging that we’re going to be long-term clients. They know that looking after us now will make us come back in the future. We were very happy with how the issue was resolved. They handled it really professionally and personably. It’s why we keep going back.

“Another useful thing Consortium did was that at the end of the project, we sat down together, and had a review of all the pain points and learnings for next time. And already our second development has gone ten times smoother than the first one.”

“Engage your construction contractor early”

Loren has advice for other new developers embarking on their first build. “You need to have good people around you with experience, who can fill your own knowledge gaps. Have an experienced consulting team, and an architect with a good track record. And engage with your construction contractor early, so that your builder can have input on building techniques and materials. Architects don’t necessarily know the most cost-effective way to build, nor are they always concerned with efficiencies.

“I one hundred percent recommend you work with Consortium. Get in contact as soon as possible, go meet the team, and hear what they have to say. Consortium see plans every day and they’ve done so many developments that they know what works and what doesn’t.

“We’re really happy with our result. Our buildings have a very high-quality finish. Consortium have good workmanship and they stand by their product. They were great with defects. There are always a couple of issues to be fixed up in the first weeks. We only had to mention something to Consortium, and they’d have one of their guys around straight away to resolve it.

“One of the best things about working with Consortium is how personable their whole team is. They’re nice guys to deal with and that’s important for us. We wouldn’t go with another contractor now. We’re already looking at our third project, and we’ll definitely be using Consortium again. We consider them part of our team.”

We’re passionate about helping new developers like Cam and Loren achieve their vision. And we excel at working with developers on a budget, to make your building project work for you. Every great development starts with a conversation.


Riverside market

We work with Consortium Construction because we can trust them. We trust them to give us the best price. We trust them to give us good people all the way through our projects. We trust them to build us good quality within a reasonable time frame. It’s critical to have that trust with your construction company.

Kris Inglis - Riverside Developer

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