Property Collectives Advisory: A cooperative approach to delivering great buildings


It has become obvious that most conventional speculative approaches to housing development are increasingly ineffective, unrewarding and unpredictable. A new environment calls for new approaches.

Property Collectives was established 10 years ago as a more affordable way for people to come together and own great homes in great locations. This at-cost citizen-led joint venture approach to more affordable housing has so far enabled nine collectives building 60 homes across Melbourne.

I joined Property Collectives in late 2018, initially to meet the firm’s rapidly growing project design and delivery needs, but over the course of 2019 we were, like many others, exposed to the increasing challenges of a rapidly changing development landscape.

We believe the new landscape will be shaped by the entrepreneurial, the innovative, and the authentic. This will require unconventional ways of thinking, planning, communicating, designing, funding, and delivering.

Fortunately, in Melbourne, there are suitably experienced, enthusiastic and innovate people up for the challenge. Unfortunately, they are hard to get organised into the right place at the right time – much like a Property Collective.

Building on our decade of experience organising people into diverse property developments, we have evolved our collective platform into a co-operative network of property specialists who share a passion for collaboration and innovation.

Already we have brought significant value to a range of businesses and unlocked potential that would otherwise have not been realised.

The core principle we are bringing to these projects is to create comprehensive development brief and a Plan of Work that has all objectives defined and measurable before embarking on design. As the design then evolves, the team then return at design ‘gates’ to assist the client in ensuring their respective objectives are being met, and devise corrective solutions if required as well as identify areas for further optimisation or innovation.

While projects are becoming more complex and involving more stakeholders, the plan of work delivers clarity and discipline that is allowing our partners – developers, architects, engineers – to contribute more creatively and to a higher standard, with the benefit of continuous design optimisation which avoids reactive late-stage redesign.

By the very nature of the co-operative, we’re getting involved in all sorts of developments, not always at the beginning – often during design, construction and after completion.

In any case our approach is to get the right person in the room at the right time, which regularly requires finding new, enthusiastic and specialised collaborators – and so it goes…

In addition to founder Tim Riley (Development Management) and me, Tim Richardson (Design & Development Management), the collaborators in the Property Collectives Advisory team now comprises:

The team comes with the experience of working in leadership roles for organisations like Salta Properties, Probuild, Assemble, Rider Levett Bucknall, Multiplex, Davis Langdon, Charter Keck Cramer, Colliers, Villa Maria Catholic Homes, Nightingale Housing, City of Melbourne, Hansen Yuncken, Icon, Hacer, Mirvac and Programmed.

While our backgrounds are varied, we share a drive to collaborate and participate in property development in a deliberative way.

We have a keen focus on developments where partners are invested in long-term outcomes and have an authentic and genuine interest in the project from a whole-of-life standpoint.

The reason for this alignment is quite simple:

When a development is being considered as a legacy project, all participants can be motivated to make decisions that are based on value not simply profit or cost at completion. This fosters a move away from conventional transactional or adversarial interactions toward collaborative or negotiated outcomes.

To find out more about our Advisory team click here or contact me, Tim Richardson directly on 0412 113 436.


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