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How To Choose Capital Growth Managers For Your Portfolio

By Author: Bradley Weiss
Total Articles: 156

An investment is only as good as the people responsible for managing it. Know the characteristics of qualified UK land investment funds.

It is no small decision to invest upwards of £10,000 in a land development fund. Strategic land in particular - where raw property is taken through the planning authorities’ process and eventually turned into homes and businesses - can provide good returns on the investment. But every investment carries risk.

One way to manage that risk is to become familiar with and confident in the capital growth managers who oversee the investment. These are the people who find investors, buy the land, achieve zoning change approvals, then design and build infrastructure to support what will be built on site (after that is complete, the land is sold to homebuilders to complete the process).

But who are the investment managers to work with? In choosing these critically-important partners, look for the following characteristics:

• Knowledge of the specific market area - This may seem a simple thing, but there is a great deal of investing that happens at a distance, with paper-only knowledge. The nature of investing in UK investments - as opposed to investing overseas - is that fund managers as well as investors themselves can visit the site and assess the environment around it, the existing and needed infrastructure, and other local economic growth factors.

• Familiar with inclinations toward planning authorisations - Part of this on-the-ground nature of investing and building is that the fund managers have face-to-face familiarity with local planning authorities and the communities served by the local council. There is a good deal of study as to what communities need and how they want to grow. A strategic land development proposal will be structured to meet their needs.

• Expert at elegant deal structuring - Acquiring land, getting approvals, and designing and developing infrastructure is a process involving many parties, in addition to the investors and homebuilders who each have essential roles in the process. Everyone has to be pleased with the plans and the outcomes. The property fund partners who orchestrate the programme from inception to completion must develop the strategies, pricing, and timelines, and generate the political and public support necessary for a successful completion.

• Communicative - Part of the deal structuring includes properly educating the many parties involved on what happens, when and why. No project goes according to original plans, so changes and adjustments - and problems - need to be shared in a timely and meaningful manner.

• Flexible, adaptive and creative - Did we mention no project goes exactly according to original plans? This does not necessarily mean the project is scrapped or even less profitable. A creative approach, based in solid industry knowledge and expertise, can turn challenges into opportunities.

• Experienced - All of this is possible when your fund managers have been working on development, planning approvals, financing and related matters for many years. The fund managers’ past successes are a good gauge of this - as is their ability to respond to questions about anything related to the programme.

These are assessments you can make on your own or in concert with other investors. But for a truly objective look at a fund and where the investment would fit relative to your own portfolio, speak with an independent financial advisor. His or her job is to be purely objective.

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