By Evan Maindonald, Founder and CEO of MELT Homes
Since I founded MELT Homes in 2002, we’ve built over 100 properties in London, Gloucestershire and Kent with a total value of over £22m. We’ve also accumulated an investment property portfolio of over 50 residential and commercial properties. The projects we’re currently working on have end values of around £50m and we have crowdfunded around £1.5m in equity for those projects in the last 12 months.
In order to thrive and grow, every business needs a stable foundation. The foundations of our business are two philosophies which we call Rigorous Risk Management and Design led Development. At it’s core, property development is the process of buying, adding value to or otherwise improving and then splitting up and selling a property. In a rising market, it’s possible to do this badly and still make money. However, as Warren Buffet once said, it’s only when the tide goes out that you see who’s been swimming naked.
Having made our way through the choppy water of the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 to 2011, we know what it’s like to steer a property development business through difficult times. The challenge of navigating these difficult times have honed our skills and deepened our understanding of risk. The experience we have gained over 17 years of running property development projects means we know what we need to prepare for and are able to plan well in advance.
The values which underpin our business philosophies are numeracy, creativity and individuality. These values reflect threads which have run through my life from a very early stage. Numeracy is reflected in the way we translate the detailed analysis and risk management we undertake into financial models that we use to make decisions about project acquisition, enhancement and management. It is also reflected in our approach to structuring debt and equity on our development projects so as to create an optimal balance between risk and Return on Equity/Return on Capital Employed.
We employ creativity throughout the business – particularly in our approach to potential uses of development sites and to achieve value enhancement through planning consent. Creativity is also inherent in our approach to design of the properties we build. We build inspiring contemporary buildings that positively impact on and improve the locations in which they are built.
Individuality of design means the properties we build reflect people’s personalities and choices and are designed around the way they live their lives. Our focus on design enables us to offer better value for money to purchasers. This optimises the profitability of our developments and enables us to break the price ceiling in the market for which we develop. We believe that, whatever the price of a home, it should be well designed.
Delivering profitable projects is a necessity. Without profit, our business would not be sustainable. We structure our development projects so as to minimise risk and maximise return for us and our investors. However, if you think it’s just about delivering profitable development projects, you’ve missed the point.
What we stand for is building inspiring contemporary buildings that make a difference to the places they are built in and which contain living spaces which enhance and empower people’s lives.
If you’re interested in partnering with us, investing in our projects or just finding out more about what we do and how we do it, follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Linked-In or visit our website at www.MeltHomes.co.uk.
Evan is Guest Speaker at the National Development Summit on Saturday 19th January 2019 taking place in Blackfriars, London