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Grow Your Residential Property Portfolio Using Leading Property Data


Are you looking to achieve financial success and stability with a thriving residential property portfolio in 2023? Recent changes to legislation, consumer appetite for upgrading homes, and the continued shortage of residential properties have created an abundance of opportunities for property investors and developers looking to secure highly profitable long-term investments. 

Conversely, land ripe for development is becoming harder and harder to find due to competition in the market combined with the difficulty of navigating government legislation and planning policies. 

Due to this, most opportunities now lie in repurposing existing buildings or in knocking down old buildings to build new ones. This is where new permitted development rights create the freedom to make money. For instance, they allow you to add additional storeys to existing buildings or convert commercial dwellings into residential ones


Shortcuts ✂️

Securing the Best Sites Off-Market

We believe the trick is to find, assess, and seal the deal on new off-market opportunities, quickly - before your competitors. This helps to secure your deal for the best price due to reduced competition. This is where property technology, with the right features and unique tools, becomes crucial.

With today's advancements in property technology, you can easily find the best sites, the right information you need to make an assessment, and connect with key people to secure your new property investment. 

You can even use tools like these to apply map overlays to your property searches so that only properties that fit your strategy are presented to you - instantly saving you an abundance of time.

In this blog, we'll look at the common pitfalls to avoid in residential property development and show you how you can use Nimbus to build a comprehensive picture of opportunities - quicker, easier, and more efficiently.

How to avoid the most common pitfalls in residential property development 

When it comes to building your residential property portfolio, there are a number of pitfalls to overcome. That’s why we’ve highlighted key ways to overcome the six most common issues in residential property development:

  1. Do your due diligence: Due diligence on a property is crucial. Many issues can be managed through the process if they are identified early on, but if those same issues are found out later in the transaction then they can put the entire project at risk.

  2. Engage with your design team early: Engage with a great design team as early as you can, ideally a team with experience delivering similar schemes locally. Get them to visit the site and look at your plans to advise you on any challenges they see and any abnormal costs that you might need to bear. No scheme is without its risks, but it is important to thoroughly explore the proposals from all angles to make sure you have enough in your budget to complete the scheme as expected.

  3. Planning conditions can be costly to discharge: Look carefully at any conditions that are put on the planning permission and make sure that you know how you will discharge them and whether those might incur particular costs. On some sensitive sites, councils can impose conditions where the proposed buildings are built in certain materials which can be significantly more expensive.

  4. Make sure you know your exit values and can substantiate them: If you’re building a new property in an area, it is vital to know what it’s going to be worth so that you can make sure that you’re going to make the return you need. This should be an evidence-based exercise where you clearly identify similar properties that have sold, what they sold for, how big they were and what they mean in terms of the sale of your property.

    💡 Top tip: Having multiple exit strategies is important for success. For example, you may need to rent a developed property out rather than sell it (and vice versa). So make sure both exit strategies are viable.

  5. Understand the market for your sales, not only now, but when you will be selling: It is good to understand today’s market and to substantiate your sales prices. However, if a bigger and better scheme is being proposed that will come online when your scheme hits the market, it can have a devastating effect on your sales values and profit.

  6. Research any competing schemes: If there are schemes proposed in the same area, make sure you’re as confident as you can be before they come to market, or make allowances in your appraisals for the competitive marketplace you will be launching your completed scheme into.

How Nimbus Maps makes residential property development much easier - and faster

With Nimbus Maps, all your data is in one place. You can access all of the information - the same information as the large corporations - to ensure that you’re finding the best opportunities before anyone else, making an informed decision and then connecting with key people to seal the deal and kick off your property project.

We also run expert webinars and workshops to keep you ahead of industry changes so you can discover new opportunities. In fact, we’re always on hand to answer any questions about our property intelligence platform.

Mapped to your needs, these are the most popular features used by property investors wanting to find sites for residential property developments:

  • Nimbus Maps Elite+ Packages - With a single click, you can find all properties that would be suitable for conversion to an alternative use or development, all pre-checked for planning and financial viability.

  • Ordnance Survey MasterMap - This base map allows you to quickly find properties that are underdeveloped.

  • Site size filter - This functionality allows you to quickly target sites that are the right size for what you’re looking to buy.

  • Information panel - This intuitive panel is available for all properties in England and Wales and provides you with the comprehensive information you need to understand a specific property.

  • Map overlays - These allow you to assess market values, the quality of neighbourhoods, which areas are subject to various planning constraints and areas to avoid. This is so that your developments are as easy as possible.

  • Workflow - The intuitive workflow tool allows you to manage your projects and effortlessly send letter campaigns through the system.

Five ways to quickly find the best residential property opportunities using Nimbus Maps

Using Nimbus Maps, you can simplify and speed up your search. This allows you to find as many opportunities as you want and allows you to choose the ones that you like most and are on the terms that you are comfortable with.

Built specifically for you, the site search and assessment features and map overlays enable investors to build a comprehensive picture of potential land or existing residential sites. It does this by adding key property data points that are crucial for residential properties like the ones below.

The best bit? Nimbus Maps is a truly scalable front-end to your property business that enables you to only buy on profile and viable sites. It does this by allowing you to target only profile opportunities that work financially for you, ones that you are likely to get planning permission for and ones that are owned by people that want to sell to you on the terms you’re comfortable with. This ultimately gives you the confidence to say “no” to the wrong deals and to progress with the right ones.


1. Easily compare on and off-market opportunities

There are benefits to sourcing both on- and off-market deals, but typically on-market opportunities are more competitive as these tend to be overpriced in today’s market as there is an opportunity to add value. With Nimbus, you’ll have all the information you need as well as a host of tools to identify ideal opportunities.

Access comprehensive data for commercial, residential and property comparables:

  • Why do you need it? - Clearly understand local values for all property and land types so you know the value of what you're buying or building.

  • How does it work? - It layers onto the map sales transactions for commercial buildings, residential properties and land deals in just one click.

  • How does it make your life easier? - At a glance, you can see where your sales prices should be and whether you’re paying the right money for the opportunity you’re buying.

Residential comparisons: 

  • Why do you need it? - Quickly understand the value of a property you are building (or buying).
  • How does it work? - It layers onto the map sales transactions for commercial buildings, residential properties and land deals in just one click. 

  • How does it make your life easier? - Quickly understand with confidence the value of a site to make sure you don’t pay more than it’s worth. Plus, understand the accurate end valuation of a project so that you can be sure a project stacks up financially.

Residential Comparables

[Pictured: Residential Comparables overlay in Nimbus Maps 2023]

‘Alternative use’ overlay data:

  • Why do you need it? - To target opportunities to convert buildings into a higher-value alternative use. This information isn't readily available and it's largely impossible to compile at scale with the use of technology. This is, however, where a lot of money can be made.

  • How does it work? - Nimbus interrogates and filters from its many proprietary datasets and algorithms to identify which buildings have the characteristics that mean they could be sympathetically converted into a high-value alternative use. This also includes buildings that have no planning issues or constraints precluding their conversion.

  • How does it make your life easier? - Quickly assess properties that have been pre-screened for them to be repurposed to a higher value use where you or your client can make money from it, so you can quickly connect with the owner to understand if a deal might be possible.



2. Buy and sell at the right price

Using the sales values comparables, you can view detailed information on properties that have sold within a custom date range, including price-paid data and links directly through to the property listings.


3. Easily compare local planning

Instantly view all planning applications in your search area with filters for applications by keyword, application status, agent, date and more!

Planning export:

  • Why do you need it? - Knowing that a council has approved similar schemes and being able to see how it was dealt with helps to provide confidence in the uncertain process. It also allows you to see what other developers are targeting and delivering, such as what local strategies are working for others that you could adopt yourself, with likely similar levels of success.

  • How does it work? - You can either search across an entire authority or plot similar schemes on the map around your target site. The system highlights to you where others have submitted similar applications, what their scheme was for, whether they were successful and how easy their route to a planning consent was.

  • How does it make your life easier? - By knowing what schemes other developers are targeting, and if nearby similar schemes to yours have received consent,  you can be more confident that you will be able to get consent for yourself. Alternatively, if the nearby scheme didn’t get consent or ended up at appeal, then it allows you to work out whether the scheme is likely to be too hard for the return you’re likely to make. You may also consider whether a more creative way to buy that particular site might be more appropriate, or whether you should move on from it. 

Planning overlay:

  • Why do you need it? - See all applications around a target site so you can see what sorts of schemes have been applied for, whether they have got consent and how difficult they were to progress.

  • How does it work? - It plots all planning applications on the map around your target site and highlights residential, commercial, mixed-use and change-of-use applications together with a classification of how big those schemes were.

  • How does it make your life easier? - You can see what other applications have been submitted and what they were for. This may alert you to other types of development to consider and whether there are other issues to consider around your site. This ultimately leads to you understanding if your site has other opportunities with it and whether it is likely to get permission as proposed.

Planning Applications OS

[Pictured: Planning Applications overlay using OS MasterMap in Nimbus Maps 2023]

Information panel & planning policy overlays:

  • Why do you need it? -  See key information on the property and any policies or risks that might preclude development. You can then focus on specific areas that are constrained with overlays - such as flood zones, listed buildings and green belts.

  • How does it work? - For any property displayed on the map, you are provided with a consistent list of information around the property, from site size to uses, planning and sales histories, and planning constraints.

  • How does it make your life easier? - It saves a huge amount of time when looking at a property, so you can understand that property without the need to look at multiple websites to build that picture yourself. It also serves as an excellent way to sense-check information that is being given to you by others as you start to consider opportunities.


4. Connect with relevant people

Acting as your industry 'black book', you can easily find the details of owners, agents, planning applicants, architects and more. You can even identify the people who have had success on similar schemes, or with particular councils, so you know you’re connecting with the right people.

Planning export feature for connecting with local specialists, and assessing their track record:

  • Why do you need it? -  Building the right power team is crucial for success. The right team will build the right scheme for you at the right price.

  • How does it work? - Using the planning export, you can quickly identify similar schemes submitted by the locally active developers and then see which consultants they used to support them on their schemes.

  • How does it make your life easier? - The right team will build the right scheme for you for the right price. They will know the local council and will be in touch with the planning officers regularly on other schemes and, therefore, will be able to use those relationships to get clear advice from the planning offices. This ultimately will increase your chances of getting planning consent in the fastest time possible.


5. Manage your entire pipeline in one place

Use our workflow to manage your projects and collaborate with your team, and even export the data whenever you want. You can completely customise your pipeline in Workflow and easily move opportunities between the stages as they progress. 

Workflows to simplify your pipeline and perform bulk actions: 

  • Why do you need it? -  Once you’ve found an opportunity, you need to get in touch with the owner to see if they are a willing seller, but finding out who owns a property and getting in touch can be a very time-consuming process.

  • How does it work? - Find the sites that meet your criteria and add them to a workflow. Then simply download the owner’s names and addresses and run a letter campaign through a mail merge or by using an online mail house provider. Manage the stages of multiple projects at one time and share them with your team so you don’t duplicate work.

  • How does it make your life easier? - Easily run large-scale letter campaigns so you can find as many willing sellers as you want. This improves communication across teams and improves the organisation of multiple projects.
MySites 2023

[Pictured: My Sites, pipeline management in Nimbus Maps 2023]

Accelerate the growth of your residential property portfolio today

Finding an abundance of sites ripe for residential property development just got a lot easier thanks to innovative technology. 

Saving hours of manual research, you can cover more ground at a much faster pace - allowing you to find, confidently assess, and connect with owners to secure sites primed for residential development before they are snapped up by another developer.

Finally, using the top 5 features of Nimbus Maps alone, you can scale your residential property business with access to the best quality data available - all in one place to allow you to quickly and confidently make risk and viability assessments. 

Trusted by thousands of the most successful property entrepreneurs, it enables property investors and professionals to find sites for residential property development and make decisions quickly and with confidence.

Ready to see our property data platform in action? Start your free trial and we'll provide you with a tailored demo and the resources to scale your residential portfolio. 

Key reads on the Nimbus Blog

How to find off-market property investments in 2024 and uncover lucrative opportunities

Are you on the lookout for untapped real-estate opportunities in 2024? Learn how Nimbus can be your guide to unlocking exclusive investment potential that can help set you on the path to success. What are off-market properties? Fi...

https://www.nimbusmaps.co.uk/blog/how-to-find-off-market-property-investments-in-2024-and-uncover-lucrative-opportunities - https://www.nimbusmaps.co.uk/blog/grow-your-residential-property-portfolio-using-leading-property-data
New residential market layer and My Sites enhancements

At Nimbus, our commitment to empowering property professionals with cutting-edge tools and features never ends. Today, we're thrilled to unveil our latest product release updates, designed to transform the way you find and assess ...

https://www.nimbusmaps.co.uk/blog/whats-new-residential-availability - https://www.nimbusmaps.co.uk/blog/grow-your-residential-property-portfolio-using-leading-property-data
Latest Nimbus updates: Public Rights of Way, plus Info Panel and basket improvements

At Nimbus, we're dedicated to empowering property professionals with the cutting-edge tools and features they need to succeed in an ever-changing and demanding market. That’s why we're always excited to shout about our feature rel...

https://www.nimbusmaps.co.uk/blog/whats-new-public-rights-of-way - https://www.nimbusmaps.co.uk/blog/grow-your-residential-property-portfolio-using-leading-property-data
Nimbus unveils two powerful updates: EV charge points and automated support chat

Running a successful property business means staying ahead. To do this, you need access to the right tools and support. At Nimbus, we understand the unique challenges faced by property professionals, and we are thrilled to announc...

https://www.nimbusmaps.co.uk/blog/whats-new-evcharging-chatbot - https://www.nimbusmaps.co.uk/blog/grow-your-residential-property-portfolio-using-leading-property-data