What is Building Consultancy?

Building Consultancy

Building consultancy services help investors and developers recognise, maintain and increase their property’s value, while helping to minimise their risk. Building consultancy services include:

A good quantity surveying firm will also advise on all matters relating to property development and occupation in conjunction with other in-house teams and client-appointed consultants.

CASE STUDY

Property Type: Healthcare Clinic
Location: North Sydney
Service: Capital Expenditure Plan (CAPEX)

A private hospital contracted Washington Brown to undertake a 15-year Capital Expenditure Plan (CAPEX) of their newly-built specialist clinic and research and development facilities. The private hospital had leased the building to numerous medical consultants via a Service Level Agreement and was pro-active enough to ensure that the building would be maintained in the future by working out the cost of future maintenance and thus charging the tenants a nominal amount yearly. Depreciation Quote Schedule

Washington Brown reviewed the entire asset which included the building fabric, building structure and all the services within the six storey (including a two-storey below ground car park) building. We took into account the high usage areas, life span of components, potential problematic areas, general wear and tear, etc., to create a year-by-year spreadsheet, together with a summary page of all capital expenditure costs and a total cost over the 15-year period.

This allowed our client to determine the service charge levy that they should be charging each tenant, depending on the size of their tenancy. By providing a copy of our report to the tenants, our client could demonstrate the future capital works that were planned and the costs attached to these works.

The report reassured our client that there would be sufficient funds to maintain the building to its current high standard of finish, and ensure the electrical and mechanical services would be functioning as intended. The tenants were also reassured that the landlord would be maintaining the building and that there would not be any demands for high costs from their landlord in the future.

If you require a building consultant – please visit our building consultancy page.

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Why I Started in Property…

Why I Started in Property

Today, I thought I would go into why I entered the property market to begin with

You see, when I was 17 and while working at McDonald’s and doing my HSC, my future brother-in-law – a developer – said two things that changed my life: “You can only ever make real money working for yourself” and “McDonald’s really is a property development company … they just sell hamburgers on the side”.

As I was flipping those burgers I was thinking “there’s got to be more to life”… and as I tried to work out what he meant by McDonald’s being a property developer I enrolled in a Bachelor of Construction Economics. The course led me to becoming a quantity surveyor.

Before this I never really had an interest in property so his advice certainly steered my career path, because it was during my degree back in 1993 that I applied for a cadet role at Washington Brown. Now I own the company.

A few years into my work at Washington Brown, aged 25, I wrote a thesis on property depreciation, and thought that this could be a good business opportunity.

This is where part of the advice kicked in. You never make real money working for someone else. So I left Washington Brown, and my mentor who then owned the company, and I started my own quantity surveying firm, Property Depreciation. I did that for about a year and half, and once my old boss at Washington Brown saw that it was successful, he invited me back as a partner. I haven’t looked back since.

The worst advice I ever got

The worst advice I ever received was from a financial planner who led me down the path of investing in shares. I have never lost money in property, but I certainly have with shares. Depreciation Quote Schedule

In hindsight, I should’ve stuck to what I know – property. But the allure of buying shares in a company that you don’t own, then sitting back and letting that money grow, was appealing.

Fast forward to the Global Financial Crisis and hey presto it wasn’t so alluring after all! I have always found that letting someone else make money for you ends in tears.

To me, investing in the stock market is the easy option, unless you know what you’re doing.

And while letting someone else make you money can work, I would rather back myself. Whether that’s investing in my business or trusting my property skills to know if an opportunity is likely to pay off.

So my own advice is invest and nurture what you know best – you.

If you need a depreciation schedule for your investment property – get a quote here or work out how much you can save using our free calculator.