At the end of 2023 I as invited for the second time to present V10 to a new cohort of young developers at the The Developers Club in Mayfair.
The Developers Club
As previously, I was intrigued to gauge the entrepreneurial spirit in the room – after all, without that ingredient no business can start, flourish or survive. TDC is a group of residential developers under the age of forty who own and manage their own businesses from all over the UK. They are all serving specialist residential niche markets and have adopted various business models, each sharing common opportunities and challenges. The aim of the group is to cross-fertilise ideas and best practice whilst harnessing the experience of those developers with longer tooths. It’s a potent approach driving forward the speed of each company’s continuous improvement and commercial evolution. This is an important catalyst to the group as collectively they have committed to delivering 10,000 new homes by 2030 to address the housing crisis – a laudable mission!
It became clear straight away that this new group were also highly informed and very professional. There was also that X factor feeling in the audience – that energy – that passion. I started my presentation with a flashback to 1969 – the first moment when I made a profit reselling Christmas wrapping paper to my neighbours at the age of five – then we moved on to 1971 when I got into the property game – Monopoly! Fast forward 50+ years and here I am with a business based in London delivering over 1,000 homes to seven housing associations in nine locations. It is the same for all those in TDC – each juggling the needs of their customers, investors, employees, suppliers and themselves whilst exploiting market advantages and avoiding overwhelming risk to maintain and grow their business volumes to meet the aims of TDC. After the presentation it was clear from the penetrative nature of the questioning, that these young developers had the spirit, the swagger, the level headedness and open mindedness to learn, apply and achieve.
Against The Odds
Each professional in that room are facing a myriad of challenges which many of us in development have never seen staked up against us all at one time; high mortgage rates, faltering sales rates, declining house prices, runaway build cost inflation, galloping building regulation changes coupled with a chaotic and sclerotic ‘not fit for purpose’ planning system. All these constraints to getting supply into the market to meet the inexorable rise on the demand side. Yet despite these combined headwinds these young developers are taking it all in their stride and overcoming it all – a true testament to their entrepreneurial spirit. I take my hat(s) off to them!
Land & New Business Director