How to Be a Property Developer - Thursday October 4

how to be a property developer(7/10)

Continuing on Five this week is the property series in which Gary McCausland follows two teams of hopefuls trying to make their millions in real estate. In tonight’s edition, the go-getting girls continue to search for their ultimate project north of the border; while the boys suffer another blow which leaves them in a desperate situation.

After a string of successes in Scotland, the most recent of which netted them a huge £60,000 profit, Paula and Lyndsey are on top of the world and looking forward to a new challenge. Throughout the series, they have scoured the length and breadth of the country in search of their ultimate renovation, but the perfect project is tough to find. However, just when things are looking positive, they get some bad news: the sale of one of their previous projects has fallen through, meaning they must seriously curtail their plans for the future. “I really sympathise,” says Gary. “Cash-flow problems are one of the toughest parts of this game and they are the undoing of many a developer.”

With their now limited budget, Paula and Lyndsey struggle to find their next project, and the fruitless search is beginning to take its toll on morale. “It’s a lot tougher –this property developing thing – than anyone would think,” says Lyndsey. However, true to form, the girls refuse to give up. Arriving in Perth, once Scotland’s capital city, the girls find a small one-bedroom flat right in the middle of town. While the location is great, the flat itself is incredibly compact –but the girls spot an opportunity for a quick profit.

The girls snap up the property and waste no time in planning their conversion. “Basically, we’re just going to tart it up,” says straight-talking Paula. Within two weeks, Paula and Lyndsey intend to lay laminate flooring, give the walls and ceiling a new paint job, add modern light fittings and install a new kitchen, before selling the property on at a profit of around £10,000. This project is far from the pair’s dream conversion, but it could give the business a much-needed cash injection and return the girls to winning ways.

South of the border, the fortunes of Dan and Daniel go from bad to worse. Having made an overall loss on their previous projects, the boys are pinning their hopes of getting back in the black on a basement conversion on the Hastings seafront. However, their hopes are dashed when the sale of their last property falls through for the second time. “It’s heartbreaking, to be honest,” reflects a dejected Dan. They must now sacrifice their preferred high-spec finish on the current conversion in favour of some cheaper alternatives. To that end, the boys decide to lose the wooden floors, much of the tiling in the bathroom and some of the hired help, meaning that they will need to do more of the work themselves.

Dan and Daniel get their first piece of good news in a long time when a letter arrives from the freeholders granting permission to complete the conversion, but the good mood is shortlived. Too much time has been spent on the elaborate garden design, and the project is now way behind schedule, meaning that the boys run the risk of hitting a full-blown cash-flow crisis. In addition to their schedule woes, the Dans’ team is becoming increasingly frustrated with their slap-dash approach. “They really don’t have a clue how to organise a job,” says builder Mick.

When the work is finally finished, the basement flat has been totally transformed and is ready for viewings. However, with time now of the essence, the boys decide to take their chances at auction in order to gain a quick sale. Having bought the property for £90,000 and spent a further £30,000 converting it, Dan and Daniel are hoping for more than £140,000. When the property sells for a paltry £104,000, therefore, the boys are crestfallen. “They’ve got a great flair for design,” concludes Gary, “but terrible heads for business.” With so little time left in the competition, is this the end for Dan and Daniel, or do they have one final trick up their sleeves?

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