Author Archive

Nurture your network!

Today I had a breakthrough in my thinking that I wanted to share with you.

I learned the true value of being part of a network of like-minded people of a shared interest, in this case property development.

We are all bombarded every day with social media hype – and of course the likes of twitter and facebook allow us to connect and interact with many more people which is amazing.  However we need to remember that it is not about technology it is about people and always has been.  Communities both on and off-line are where we can find support and answers for any problem no matter how big or small… and mine was quite a big one!

I am a member of the Property Tribes Forum , a very busy landlord and investor community.

Today I was having a coffee with another member and asked her for input to my dilemma.  She did not know the answer… but she knew someone from her network that did.  His name was Phil Stewardson, a fellow developer based in the West Midlands.  My friend was able to get Phil on the phone straight away and he gave us some extremely helpful input which could potentially solve my quandary.

Photo caption:  Phil Stewardson (front) and his brother, Mark.

I would just like to acknowledge Phil and thank him for his kind input and hope I can return the favour one day.

So what I have learned is that being connected to one person actually makes me connected to everyone that they know and everybody that they know knows!

Surely this is the “purest” value of social media and is nothing new.  Humans have been sharing good information and good people since time began – but thanks to the web – we can now do it on a much bigger and much quicker scale.  We can tap in to a hive mind of knowledge and contacts that can help us and ignite serendipity along the way.

So don’t ever let lack of knowledge or contacts stop you moving forwards.  Nurture your network!

P.s  There is a video of Phil being interviewed by Property Tribes that you might be interested to watch.

Jane Skynner is a property developer who loves pokiez, specializing in eco-friendly family homes in S. W. London.  Jane is always delighted to hear from fellow property developers and anyone interested in JV’ing or investing in her projects.


Mob:  07970 515410   Email:


Posted in Blog, Networking by / January 25th, 2012 / Comments Off on Nurture your network!

What are F.I.T.S (Feed In Tariffs)?

Forget dual fuel – FITs means dual payment for renewable energy fuel that you as a house owner generate.

F.I.T.’s or  Feed In Tarrifs as they are also known are the rates the government will pay to you if you are generating your own energy.

You will be paid a Generation Tariff (ie a price per unit just for producing it) even though you are using it for yourself!  So not only do you save on energy bills, but you get paid for what you consume from your renewable energy generation.

This Generation Tariff will be fixed for twenty years.

And then any excess generated that you want to sell back to the Grid will be paid for per unit at the Export tarrif rate.  The export tariff is a sum expected to fluctuate with the market in between  the retail price and the wholesale pric.

Encraft is a website that will give you a guide to your household energy use and what you save by applying the alternative  energy saving methods to your type of house.

– click here –

I attended a seminar last October at Buildstore conducted by Tim Pullen,  Eco Expert,  who writes for Home Building and Renovating  Magazine.  He was very knowledgeable on renewable energy systems and spoke very clearly about the subject and how to make money from renewables.

– click here –

Buildstore is based in Swindon and offers a lot of expert knowledge expecially via its seminars it hosts at  special events and entrance is free.

– click here –

This site explains the F.I.T.’s further:

– click here –

Posted in Blog, eco saving technology, Renewable engery by / October 11th, 2010 / Comments Off on What are F.I.T.S (Feed In Tariffs)?

To Find A Develoment – is simple…


there are many properties around that could be updated or simply knocked down and newly built, but often they are not in a good location – and if they are they are never offered to market at the right price.  And of course until recently there were too many amateur developers jumping in to a spiraling market. When looking to start your own business in this or any other branch, you should check here the new paystubs generator.

But…  finding a development in the right location at the right price is not so simple

It’s like looking for a PS3 on Christmas eve eve.  Nigh on impossible.  Everyone wants one and if there is still one sitting on the shelf – the price tag is high.

And finding your first development is the hardest.  Yet persistence gets you everywhere.

As with your favourite things – find a good supplier, try to secure a good price and if possible buy when no one else is buying.  Most importantly follow through with what you say you will do and remain consistent. Let your supplier know you will be back for repeat business and as such he should keep you updated with the latest offers.

Alternatively – find a different angle learn how to stand out from the crowd.

And then hope there is a little bit of luck on your side … but only ever take a calculated risk.

My first new build development came from a estate agent who had watched me consistently buy family homes in the area; he knew I was an interior designer and he knew the finished product was always stylish and always sold quickly and at a good price.

A bungalow on a double plot became available.   I had made an enquiry to the agent, but it was a probate – the legalities held it back from the market for a few months and during that period a “chancing” developer went direct to the sellers with a high offer thinking he could squeeze three terraced homes on the site.  Three months later the offer fell through  –  and it was back with the agent.

The agent had three offers including two other developers.  He recommended me – because I said I was going to retain the existing property and just develop out the side plot with a single good quality family home. The beneficiaries of the estate had grown up in the house, so they took his advice and went for my offer.  And a little luck was on my side – as the property market was starting to decline so confidence was waning….

Of course I was buying without planning – this always has an element of risk, but I had done as much homework as I could – speaking with the planners prior to acquisition – getting them out to site – and getting a nod of approval for my intentions.  And most importantly, the property although was in need of renovation, was still rentable.

As worst-case scenario – if planning was not granted the site could be renovated and sold on.

So the price was right; my location was good – in an area which has some of the best state schools in England; with a shortage of good-sized family homes; within good commuting distance to central London and close by to Richmond Park…


Posted in Blog by / April 22nd, 2010 / Comments Off on To Find A Develoment – is simple…

How I got finance for my first new build development.

Financing a property development is challenging at the best of times!  Banks prefer to lend to developers with a track record so …. How did I finance my first new build family home?

Well luckily the Credit Crunch arrived – and ……

I had secured the development; gained planning approval on the side plot – but nobody was lending – and I was a first time developer of new-builds!

I needed a different strategy.  So I set out to find someone that had done it before with the intention of raising funds to build, relying upon their track record, so I get a corporate lending to get money for this and for my business.  I would split the profits with that party, creating a win/win situation for both of us.

So that’s what I did.   My architect made the introduction (the power of networking!).  The relationship and experience has been very successful and now we aim to do another joint venture together.

I’m on my way…

Site opportunities are rare – if you are reading this blog and think you know of any unwanted/unloved homes; bungalows on large plots, or just a piece of waste ground in a residential location, do please get in touch via our contact page.

We always pay a finder’s fee.


Useful Data:

“The number of newly-built homes for sale in London fell to the lowest levels on record last year, according to research.” – click here – to read more.

“Housing market confidence hits two and half year high” – click here – to read more.

“Number of new homes built could hit lowest level for 88 years” – click here – to read more.

Posted in Finance by / April 20th, 2010 / Comments Off on How I got finance for my first new build development.

Heronwood – Kingston Upon Thames

My latest development in Kingston Upon Thames.

For more information on this development or any JV business, please contact me here.


Posted in Blog, New Developments, Video by / March 15th, 2010 / Comments Off on Heronwood – Kingston Upon Thames