The Value of an Experienced Team

The Value of an Experienced Team

Project manager’s perspective

Patrick NG





Often as a project manager you reflect on the skills, competencies, and experience in your development team. 

Over the last two quarters, our projects have had even greater acute demands. Needing highly specialised and technical skills in multiple areas around the intricate requirements of planning procurement. The layers and complexities around this process can often take years, of which some aspects are completely unquantifiable. And trying to encapsulate the vast array of resources, the sheer number of consultants, along with the inordinate amount of time spent to procure the various aspects of a project- is a feat in itself.



The process usually encompasses site evaluation and preliminary design as a first step, with analyses to be followed closely by preliminary financial feasibility studies. After these have been evaluated, a more elaborate design is then commenced by the Architect, usually with the assistance of secondary consultants’ advice. With further review, the project is then developed to a stage suitable for planning evaluation. For a multi-lot subdivision project, the consultant team could be substantial and the time for site investigation, assessment, review and coordination can sometimes take years to collate into a coherent form suitable for lodgement with authorities and Council.



Depending on the complexity of the application could take from three months to a year, especially for assessment and approval of the design proposal, by way of a ‘Use and Development’ planning permit. This period of assessment is usually unquantifiable due to the nature of the processes involved and a lack of any clearly defined statutory time frames. 


For a development project, the planning process represents a high level of risk in time and cost and this is typically why such projects are not embarked upon by smaller or inexperienced developers. However, upon successful application – in most cases,  there is a significant reduction in risk followed by an increase in valuation in which larger developers work to maximise.


Diagram source: Kris Kowalski Architect


A planning permit defines the applicable uses for the land, however the permit in itself, is still not sufficient enough in detail nor suitable for construction. This is when after the issue of a planning permit, the real work begins! From construction, documentation, specifications, building details, materials and finishes schedule, structural and civil engineering computations, services engineering design, internal joinery and cabinetry details-  all components that will need to be resolved and recorded by way of a set of Construction Plans suitable for the procurement of Building Permit approval. Then finally the project can tender to builders and commence construction.

This is where we are grateful to have a highly skilled and experienced team to manage and deliver the our projects to the quality and. Without a team of such individuals projects can sit at standstill with loss opportunity and potential costly setbacks and fails.

Putting all these pieces together over months to potentially a year or more takes a highly skilled, educated and experienced team to manage and deliver the expected quality that councils, planners, builders and the end market is looking for. Without a team of such individuals projects can sit at standstill with loss opportunity and potential costly setbacks and fails.


Patrick Ng

Executive Chairman, Project Director and Lead Architect
2006 Dual Commercial Winner, National Grand Master Awards, Delfin Caroline Springs


Are you the Primary or Secondary Investor and Why It Matters

Are you the Primary or Secondary Investor

and Why It Matters

What many Australians entering into the property market may not realise is the significant difference in targeted returns when it comes to investing at different points in the property development process. We identify the differences between participation in early or late stage investments, acting as either a primary or a secondary investor. Focusing on this simple concept can greatly improve investment performance and how quickly you reach your financial objectives.


Are you a Primary or Secondary Investor?


An example of a primary investor is an investor that buys a block of raw land then aims to add value through subdivision into multiple blocks. The secondary investor on the other hand, is likely to be the purchaser of one of these subdivided blocks with little or no room to add value except through future, organic capital growth. This is the traditional off-the-plan purchase that most Australian mum and dad investors have grown to be familiar with.

However, if an investor can take the mindset of a primary investor, it allows them to look different at the properties they currently own, and the types of property they may consider for investment in the future.


“The challenges is two parts… access to the same opportunities as the primary investor …  and mitigating risk”


The challenge is two parts for families.  The first is to gain access to the same opportunities as the primary investor.  And the second when achieving the primary investor point is mitigating risk and their potential life savings.  No one wants to lose their shirt.


Quantifying the difference

To give you an idea of the difference in potential returns of a primary and secondary investor, let’s look at two different ways of investing $200,000.

A secondary investor purchasing a property valued at $200,000 relies on the future returns on the $200,000 value of the property, with a national 25 year average hovering around 6.8% growth annually.

However as a primary investor, you could be looking at immediate returns on your assets of 15% (conservatively) to over 25% (what many experts achieve), through methods such as subdivision into multiple smaller lots, or re-zoning of the property. Increasing your asset value by 20%, for example, you would see an immediate $40,000 increase in cash if you sold your property or in equity if you keep your property. Either way you’re way ahead in the property investment game at a potentially faster rate, while also benefiting from the future capital growth on a more valuable asset if you keep it.

If we keep our investment and look at it within a conservative 5 year scenario, the difference in your pocket could add up even more to over $55,000. Assuming 6.8% growth rates over a 5 year period.  The secondary investor’s $200,000 asset may “only” increase to $277,899. In contrast the primary investor’s $240,000 asset (with 20% initial margin) may now have increased in value to $333,478. This disparity in returns will only continue to grow the longer the investments are held, highlighting the rewards of taking the primary investor mindset.

How does the average Australian go from secondary to primary investor

So how does the average Australian go from being a secondary to a primary investor in the property market? The first is probably looking in their own backyard, literally! Perhaps your own home or earlier investment may have the potential to be subdivided, allowing you to extract extra value without even having to look elsewhere!

For most however, learning the ins and outs of property development can be a steep learning curve and this is where investors may start to work with established developers and property investment experts in the field. If you go down the second route, you should ensure that you pick the right people – ensuring they have the expertise and experience to see the project through and a track record of successful projects.  


For more on winning projects and mitigating risks see more of Michael Blogs Property


Michael Mamasis

Own Your Own Block (OYOB)

Property investment strategies and property advice.

*Information resourced from: Investormastermind; Stephen Chandler, EFTA and Property Development Institute; Rate City and  CoreLogic.

500 Kilometre Hill

500 Kilometre Hill

Just when you think you can’t- keep your eyes on the road

This year I became very intimate with one of our charities Hands Across the Water, and was reminded of some of the steps of overcoming challenges on a very personal level.  As part of our fundraising efforts, a team of 15 including OYOB business partners and clients, flew to Thailand for our annual bike ride. Each one of us committing over 500 kilometres of riding to help raise funds. We also had the privilege of meeting the community and at-risk children with Aids that we have been supporting over the last few years.

The experience of staying with the children and seeing firsthand the impact that external funding has on helping them live normal, healthy lives was something that went deeper then just facing a hill. However, the interpersonal challenges we all face are integral to giving back in a more profound and impactful way. And this part of my own journey reflects this very personal challenge. I was reaching deep outside of my own comfort zones and surrendering to a multitude of fears that found myself persevering. At the end of the journey, I came to realise how strong I really was.

“My own brother thought I couldn’t do more than 20k’s”

Connecting to the charity and their needs with such heart, and then coming back to the privileges of Australia was an incredibly humbling experience that has provided profound and overwhelming purpose and drive for my life and my work (which I’ll post about later!)… But for now, let’s get the hill out of the way, a hill that became my mountain.

My own brother thought I couldn’t do more than 20k’s. And well, personally, I had never ridden more than 15k’s in my life.  Before the ride and early on during the first 100k’s, I was already strapped with a number of fears. A massive fear of falling from a bike obviously designed for a 6 footer, on top of pounding and unbearable heat. My body was stiff and sore from stress. And though I had prepped physically. Mentally I had already told myself I could just go on the bus. I was setting myself up for a way out, and safeguarding my ego and my fears of failure.

“We often impose limitations on ourselves, we let other people impose limitations, but it’s not until we test those limitations that we really find what are true potential is”

But amazingly I kept pace, and my team was more than supportive – they were my lifeline. I surprised myself at every turn, all until day 4.

And then, despite all the challenges I had overcome. All the personal physical and mental “go Mary’s” I had worked through, prepped for, and faced. The heat I had conquered. My balance and belief that I could actually ride a bike that far.  Coping with pain, stiffness and aches. I was at my limit, the body began to fight back- my neck and shoulders at the point of agony.

And that’s when I saw this massive hill. My initial thoughts where, there was no way I was going to do it. I was ready for the bus.

The team said, “What goes up must come down”  “There’s always a downhill”. “It’s not that big of a hill”.  There words encouraging, my team supportive, trying to shrink the problem before me.  

So I started. Up, and up.

However, I realised very shortly I couldn’t look up, if I looked up I would ruin myself. It would be too daunting and I would never finish.  So I looked down, firmly on the road and I just peddled. One little piece of dusty, rocky mix of tarmac and bush trail at a time. Just like the little engine that could.  I was the little Mary that did! It was amazing. I had ridden so much of this vertical leviathan. I was gobsmacked at my will and fortitude.

To my relief a small little outcry of a resting spot presented itself, so a few of us took it. However, it was in this rest, which the flood of truth came in.  There was more, and more hill to go, and it still seemed endless. The physical pain instantly engulfed my body- and it all came crashing down.

I wish I could say that I finished that day.  But I didn’t. I finished my total 500+ k’s and I am proud of myself.  But this moment of surrender had such an impact on me. And it went back to what Peter Baines told me after my first 100k’s.  “We often impose limitations on ourselves, we let other people impose limitations, but it’s not until we test those limitations that we really find what are true potential is”.  I learned at camp later that day that there was only 12 more kilometres of hill to go. I could have done it! But I surrendered to my own limitations. Thankfully to the inspiration of giving back to our charity, my team, and my own personal journey- those limitations have happily found a new glass ceiling.


Mary Ignatidis

Proud to have helped raise over $50,000 for Hands Across the Water, riding over 500 kilometres in 5 days and helping the 76 children that reside in Home Hug!  

One of my own personal goals is to introduce as many people as possible to Hands Across the Water and support their mission to enrich the lives of disadvantaged children and communities in Thailand. Please say hi, follow, like or comment and I’ll make sure I keep you updated with our plans and how we can all get involved.

#Generosity Economy- Goodwill and Good Giving

#OYOB- Property, People, Passion

#Hands Across the Water

#Doing Good Rewards

See me after my first 100K with Peter Baines:  DGR Bike Ride for Hands Across the Water!!!! 

OYOB Tuk Tuk Ride 2018

OYOB Tuk Tuk Ride 2018
On the 26th of July members of the OYOB community embarked on a journey across Sri Lanka in benefit of The Foundation of Goodness. Aim was to raise $100,000 to fund the Moneragala Village Heartbeat Centre for 3 years, with 100% of funds raised going to the cause and at present we have achieve 85% of our goal.
The Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centre, will provide services vital to community growth and development. These VHC change the lives of members of regional villages giving them opportunities to learn, grow and go onto empower others.

Check out this amazing video highlighting our journey:

2018 OYOB Start Of Year Update

It was great to see our community come together again for OYOB’s first half-yearly update of 2018.

This event, we met at Beer Deluxe at Federation Square and it didn’t disappoint. Everyone had a great time and enjoyed the food, drinks and friendly service provided at the venue. A big thumbs up from OYOB and we’ll certainly be returning soon.

Project Updates

The main talking point of the night was undoubtedly the announcement of the Kororoit PSP gazettal on the 1 February 2018, which marks the start of suburban development in Deanside, formerly known as Plumpton. Deanside is a brand new Victorian suburb, 30km west of Melbourne’s CBD and together with Fraser Rise, released at the same time, will eventually be home to 20,000 new dwellings, projected to be built over the next 10 years. This is great news for our Caroline Waters and Rivers Run projects and our community has a lot to look forward to over the next few years. We also gave an update on the projects at Mernda, with titles for Stages 4 and the Childcare Centre on track to be issued in the next few months. For those that weren’t able to make it and would like to know what is happening, please feel free to get in touch with Mary or Michael.
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Its closed! Our Final Greenfield Land Release for 2017

Its closed! Our Final Greenfield Land Release for 2017

OYOB is pleased to announce the close of another successful Greenfield land release to end 2017. We’re super pleased that the demand for the Greenfield model continues, with the final release of the year 70% oversubscribed, making this one of our biggest releases since the OYOB community began in 2012.

This result stacks up especially well when compared to the general slowing of the property investment market in recent months. Investor mortgage lending fell 6.2% in September compared to August, the largest drop in 2 years.

We feel that property investors are paying more attention to value and the affordability of their investments as banks tighten lending policies. This makes Greenfielding an even more attractive proposition.

Recent property sales in the surrounding areas have been above $300,000.* 

Congratulations to all new and current members who took part in the release. We look forward to catching up with everyone at our next OYOB Community Catchup in the new year!

If you would like to know more about how you can get involved with the OYOB community and our Greenfield land releases, please feel free to comment below or push the big blue contact us button.


Property investment advice


OYOB is an Australian-owned Property Development group based in Melbourne, who provide a holistic investment and property advisory service to clients. OYOB empower clients with the knowledge and education to make their own investment decisions, as well as providing exclusive property opportunities through being part of our OYOB property investment community.


*Projected sale values are indicative of a 400m2 block in ‘River’s Run Stage 2’ based on a comparison against recent land sales in the area as of 10 August 2017. E.g. (i) (ii)

The OYOB Property Investment Guide

The OYOB Property Investment Guide

Property Investment in Melbourne in 2017…

One of the things we’ve always set out to do is to help others to learn from our approach to property investment in Melbourne.

Resources like the ‘OYOB Property Investment Guide‘ are one of the ways we try to contribute and to share some of the strategies and lessons that we have learnt in our journey as property investors.

Click the image to download the OYOB Property Investment Guide

The 2017/18 SOFY Event & Presentations

The 2017/18 SOFY Event & Presentations

Another new financial year, another opportunity to catch up!

The Own Your Own Block team had a great time, and it was especially pleasing to meet all the new faces each and every time as we build and deliver results for our community. From small things, we believe something truly great can grow.

We’ve posted the recorded event presentations. Enjoy!

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Make your coffee count

Make your coffee count

If given the chance would you…

A. Buy a delicious cup of coffee
B. Spend the same amount to buy the same delicious cup of coffee, but have a percentage of your money go towards solving social problems?

It’s a no brainer.

Purchasing products and services that go beyond a simple transaction to tackle social problems, has never been so relevant. When this becomes second nature, we will all develop together.

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Some Presentations from our Mernda on the Park Client Event

Some Presentations from our Mernda on the Park Client Event

Mernda on the Park (MOTP) was the first project under Own Your Own Block’s (OYOB) Greenfielding Investment Model, allowing our clients to invest with us at a wholesale price point. On February 29th, we invited investors to picturesque Mernda for a development update and to celebrate the titling of Stages 2 and 3.

We’ve uploaded the day’s presentations below for those that missed out. For those who are new to OYOB, it should give you some insight into how we work with our clients and the philosophy behind the OYOB community.

Part 1 of the presentation is presented by Michael, giving a brief update to our Mernda on the Park investment community.

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