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Your property team should consist of...

1. Property accountant
Why: It's very important to have the correct structures in place before you buy. My accountant is a key member of my team and well worth her weight in gold (that's how much she charges me! Of course, accounting fees are tax deductible).

2. Property lawyer
Why: Every property transaction is different and even the simplest contract should be looked over by someone with experience. My lawyer is like a father to me and I thoroughly trust his judgment and advice.

3. Finance broker
Why: It's vital to use a broker with a strong understanding of construction finance. Establish a close relationship with your broker so her or she understands your individual situation and is able to fast track the sometimes tedious process of obtaining development finance.

4. Architect/draftsman - local is a plus
Why: A local architect will have an understanding of the council requirements.

5. Builder
Why: A close working relationship with your builder is important; they need to be flexible and have accuracy in their pricing, with enough clout to offer economies of scale with their buying power of materials. Some builders may have existing designs for villas or duplexes that will save you money by not having to engage an architect. You can usually make minor changes to these plans.

6. Surveyor
Why: He or she will have a strong knowledge of the local area and often will have conducted surveys or subdivisions on land in the area.

7. Quantity surveyor
Why: Important to maximise tax rebates on completion of your development.

8. Project manager/Development manager
Why: If it's your first development, then using an experienced project manager who will hold your hand through the process is key. You'll learn what's involved from a professional, so you can then manage your next development. A good project manager will also bring discounted rates and other advantages to the project. If it's your first development, using an experienced project manager will teach you a lot about how to manage a project. A good project manager will also bring discounted rates and other advantages to the project.

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