7 Ways to Research Your Developer
SM Property

April 5, 2022

If you’re thinking of buying a property off-plan and are at the buying stage, it’s crucial to research your developer before signing on the dotted line. 

With more and more Kiwis buying off-plan, there are a lot of developers trying to get in on the action. And if you don’t do your research, you might find yourself being left in the lurch by a property developer who’s more interested in taking your money than giving you a quality home that lasts.

Now, before you bust out the deerstalker cap and a pipe, background checking a developer doesn’t mean moonlighting as a private investigator. It just means asking the right questions at the right time to save you a big headache in the future. 

But what kind of research should you carry out before putting in an offer for an off-plan property? SM Property is here to help. With years of experience in the new-build space, we have a great knowledge of the developers out there, and when we don’t, we know where and how to find the answers. Today, we’re going to share some of that knowledge with you, with 7 ways to research your developer.

Check out their Website

Most reputable developers and builders will have a detailed website with past projects for prospective buyers to view. Visiting their site is a great way to get an insight into questions around who owns them, what their history is, who their partners and associates are, how long they’ve been operating for and what their completed and ongoing projects are like. It’s also worth checking out any testimonials and reviews to see what their strengths are, and what the aftercare is like. 

If they have them, take a look at their various social media platforms. They can reveal the latest news, achievements, events and even any special promotions they could be running. 

It’s important to note that some developers prefer to “fly under the radar” ; they might not have websites & social media accounts, this doesn’t mean they’re dodgy, but they might just prefer to let sales agents promote & sell for them.

Look at what other people are saying

Now you know what they say about themselves, it’s time to see if it matches what other people say about them. The best way to go about this is by looking at property blogs and newspaper articles. Just searching their name in google should bring up some good leads. Lookout to see if there are any court actions against them. Scour forums to see what kind of feedback current owners are giving and whether there are any complaints.

In the world of property development, it’s typically easier to find bad reviews, than it is to find good reviews. Make sure you look into the “bad” to see if it’s just someone who is “trolling” or is actually an unhappy purchaser.

Talk to your Agent

Your agent will have a better understanding of what experience the developer has and details of their other projects. Pick their brain and pull out as much information as you can. At SM Property, we’re new build specialists, so we have a wide depth of experience and knowledge about the various developers out there. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Just pop your questions here, and we’ll be in touch.

Shop Around

One of the best ways to find whether a developer is credible? Check out their competition. Visit other development’s websites and see how they’re doing – especially if the developer has been in business for a long time. Compare it with what you find on your own developer’s website. If anything looks amiss, let your agent know. They’ll advise you on what to do next.

Visit Completed Projects

Sometimes “seeing is believing”. Take a trip to some of the developer’s completed sites to see whether they walk the talk, or ask the agent to send you photos of completed developments. Take a good look at the quality of their completed projects. This will give you a good idea of what to expect with their future projects. These visits can be vital to getting insights into the build and finish quality, layout, planning, durability and upkeep. We’re proud to work with some great developers, who produce homes so good we wouldn’t be surprised if you’d mistake them for a render

Talk to Existing Owners

Talking to an existing property owner is a great way to get an unbiased view of a developer. They can tell you first-hand what it’s like to deal with them. You can ask questions about rental ease and yields, developer reliability, service standards, satisfaction levels, the quality of the build, parking and any other little details that come that aren’t always so easy to see on the surface. It’s also worth checking whether they have an owners association formed for their existing projects. This will tell you a lot about their work culture and aftercare.

Pricing and Payment

Make sure you’re getting a price that is the right value for your property. Get an independent valuation to give you some extra peace of mind. Do they have options to suit different budgets? Do the homes come equipped with essential appliances? It’s also important to check the rate of return you would get on your investment to help better understand their pricing.

So now you know how to research your developer, you can purchase your property with peace of mind that you’re getting value, quality and the experience of a trusted developer. Need any more help? SM Property is happy to answer any questions you may have and give you the best recommendations. Just give SM Property a call today to get started, or pop us an email here. You can also visit our Instagram for more tips and tricks on home buying.

We cater to your needs

See our tailored processes designed your needs. Select below.

First Home Buyers Guide

Thinking of buying your first home or just looking to understand the process?

Investors Guide

Wondering how to complete due diligence on a new property?