Real estate investment and development has never been a more popular pastime or career changing challenge; if you would like to learn seven secrets for consistently successful real estate investing through development or you would like to know how you can continue to profit from property even if the market takes a downward turn just read on…1) Do Your Location Homework – did you know that through successful and sustained location research professional property investors actually continue to profit during a market down turn? It’s true – whatever the market conditions you can apply their location research approach to your real estate investments and also make consistent profits from property.Take the necessary time to learn all about a town or city you’re considering for your next property development purchase and discover where the up and coming areas of that town are likely to be. If there are inner-city redevelopment projects planned examine the real estate market in the immediate vicinity, if there are areas that are booming right now examine the immediate neighbouring areas for their potential for future prices rises for example.Don’t follow the crowd – have the confidence to buck the trend and get ahead of the curve by positioning yourself in a market that is about to boom rather than in one that has already blossomed.2) Know What You Can Afford – While it can pay to sometimes speculate never be tempted to jeopardise your own home. Work out your finances and be ruthlessly strict about what you can and cannot afford as a down payment, for mortgage costs and for the renovation and redevelopment of your next real estate investment. Only proceed within the confines of your tightly allocated budget and do not be tempted to over extend yourself particularly if competition in the property market is tough and the market is slow or stagnant.3) Identify Your Target Market – Having identified your next location for property investment identify the types of people who buy into renovated properties in that location. Know who your target market are going to be and what they are likely to look for in a property in that location. If for example you’re examining inner-city spaces you might identify that your buyers will be young single professionals and that the ideal property type for these people will be luxury low maintenance apartments – seek out suitable properties with the potential for redevelopment into luxury low maintenance apartments and you will fulfil your target market’s brief…seek out large houses with substantial gardens in the area and you will have totally missed the market and potentially created a property that will not sell!4) Renovation Not Rebuild – Know your budget limits and your personal skill restrictions. Do not consider taking on a property that is in need of a complete structural overhaul when your budget is tight or you do not personally have the time, skills or inclination to do the structural work yourself. Be realistic about what you and your budget can achieve and seek properties that fulfil that brief. Pay to have an independent and complete survey done on any property you are seriously considering buying before making a down payment to ensure that there are no hidden surprises waiting for you beneath the floorboards to eat up your budget in its entirety.5) Manage Your Budget – With your survey in hand you can approach builders for quotations and seek out prices for fixtures, fittings, finishings and furnishings. Take the prices quoted and sourced and build your budget. Factor in ongoing mortgage and service costs and labour costs as well as your findings and structure and allocate your money accordingly. Watch every single spend and be ruthlessly strict with yourself and your builder. If at all possible have your builder commit to a contract with fixed finish dates and fees and stay on top of every single penny or cent every single day. At the end of each week tally up your outgoings and expenditure and ensure you’re not exceeding your budget. If you’re overspending rein it in or you will have to shave it off other areas of the development. Remember never to scrimp and save on finishing touches and always give yourself a realistic fall back fund in case of emergencies.6) Appeal To The Widest Market – Forget putting your personal stamp on any property you develop – YOU are not going to be living in the property! You should already have identified your target market which will give you a good idea of the level and quality of finish expected, now meet those expectations without adding your own personal taste into the equation. By appealing to the widest market or the lowest common denominator your property will be attractive to the majority of buyers making it faster and easier to sell on and profit from.7) Make Friends With A Real Estate Agent – Your greatest ally when developing property will be your real estate agent. Make friends with these guys and you will build a beautiful and successful symbiotic relationship in which you both profit to the maximum! Real estate agents are a fountain of untapped knowledge about the local market, who is looking for what property in which area, which additional features cost little to add but which push up the asking price and what a buyer expects from your particular property type. Get the facts from your real estate agent and then apply their advice. You will create a property they can market for top dollar and to the widest market – you will make more profit and they will make a bigger commission ensuring a beautiful and lasting friendship!Finally, remember that when you’ve bought, renovated and sold on you’ll be looking for that next property opportunity and any real estate agent who you’ve worked well with will be on the hunt for suitable real estate for your next investment making any subsequent purchases that much easier to source.