How To Choose A Good Condo Developer And Avoid Headaches

The business of condominium developers involves many facets. They are involved in envisioning and making the plans for construction; purchasing the raw land where the condo project is going to be built; and, putting the ideas into reality by converting them into an actual property.

The main role of the condominium developer is to coordinate the activities that encompass these aspects and make sure that the project is realized and built as ideally as possible.

The developer is not necessarily the construction outfit that actually builds the condo. However, it is quite common for developers to also construct their own projects themselves.

The developer only buys the land, finances the deals and gets the ball rolling. It is also the developer who markets the condos for sale to buyers and facilitates the purchase.

Let’s take SMDC for example. SM Development Corp. envisions, creates, controls, and orchestrates the entire process of condominium construction from start to finish.

In their capacity as developers, they necessarily work with a wide array of people who are involved in each step of the process. They coordinate with architects, city officials and planners, surveyors, engineers, contractors, inspectors, real estate agents and brokers, and ultimately, the customers or buyers.

They are the intermediary between the builder (if they are not the actual builder) and the user (or owner). They ensure that the needs of the end user are met and the promised facilities are delivered.

Developers also manage the condos when they are already built and in operation. They are the ones usually involved in the condo’s maintenance.

Thus, in looking for a good condominium, be aware of the developer’s role. Look at the ideal characteristics and compare them with the actual facts. See how ideally the developer fulfills his role. One of the common complaints of most condominium buyers is that the developer did not deliver the property as they promised. So you should really be looking out for these developers.

The Cold Hard Truth

Since the developers of condominiums are also their marketers, they will naturally paint the best picture possible about their project in order for it to be attractive to the market or the buying public.

Some developers will coat their words with flowery descriptions of how their projects have top-notch amenities and unmatched aesthetics, functionality and convenience. But then just turn out to deliver short on their promises when the project is finished.

The naked reality of it all, is that the developer will have to deal with the costs of construction and maintenance, consider the marketing expenses and compare them with the actual price of the condo units they will be selling, all with the goal of making the venture profitable.

Profits are not bad, of course. They are what makes the business get better with the products & services they offer to the customers.

For an ideal business, the better they are at providing satisfaction to the end users, the more profitable they become. One example is SMDC, which has become a market leader in its own right. They know that by keeping their buyers happy, they ensure a long term business success – and that’s good for everyone involved.

What To Watch Out For

In looking for a condo unit to buy, especially if it’s for investment, you will find that some developers are just going for it for the short term, quick profits.

So they take shortcuts. They sacrifice quality and try to save on construction and other necessary processes as much as they can. Aiming for the highest amount of profits but not putting the customers at the top of their priorities.

There is also the issue of delivering on time. This is particularly important to investor-buyers who have targets and time considerations for their investment properties. Or even to anyone, to the regular buyer who just wants to have his own condo unit in 2 to 3 year’s time.

If you are this type of buyer, go for developers who already have a track record of at least 3 major projects that have been turned over to the owners on time or even ahead of schedule.

Choose A Good Condo Developer And Avoid Headaches

I know about this firsthand as I have bought a unit myself from some lesser known developer. I thought I got a great deal, it was a really great price for such a unit. I bought it shortly after they started pre-selling and as of today, more than 2 years later, the building is supposed to be halfway built already.

But when I visited the site in Makati, they’re barely done with the first floor. And my agent recently called me, telling me he’s really sorry about the delays and told me of the technical problems the developer is facing for this project.

He told me things about the sinking level of land on the site and how it’s contributing to the delays of the developer. To me, it’s clearly lack of proper survey and planning and poor engineering. The results of the developer’s shortcuts.

And I’m telling you, you don’t want to deal with these kind of people, they don’t do good business. When you ask them for explanations, it’s very hard to get a hold of someone from their office that can tell you what’s really happening.

The Key Takeaways

So in looking for a good developer, therefore, do research on their past projects and see how they did. It is just very easy to compare the promises with the facts.

Find out how satisfied their unit owners are and if the promised workmanship quality has been delivered, and if they delivered on time. This shows how committed they are at what they are doing.

Compare the developer with its competitors and see what the current standards are with regards to prices and quality. It would be even greater if you would visit their finished projects and see for yourself how they do.

There are already a lot of finished and operating condominiums and developers here in the Philippines to make reasonable comparisons. Go ask an agent to assist you on site visits. You can use this contact form here to request PhilPropertyExpert to help you out.

Doing a little background check will provide information on how good a condo developer is. This will pay off for you knowing that you made a good decision in buying your condo from the best developer who can provide you with the best quality of work.


Joanne Almaden
Joanne Almaden
Joanne is a licensed real estate broker and appraiser. She founded Phil. Property Expert, Inc. – a top-notch real estate services company whose vision is being the most trusted company when it comes to competence and quality of service.