From Congregation Leader to Property Developer Part IV

If you are a congregation leader interested in developing your property to share and grow your ministry programs with the community, start with the first, second and third part of this series.

So you’ve brought the vision for your church property from concept to completion. Now what? The final phase of the development process is the first stage of the building’s life: operation.

Common activities during this phase include ongoing marketing and leasing; finding a buyer; determining a hold strategy; ramping up property management; and achieving stabilization.

Typically, a community-minded developer will have helped you navigate these activities from the very beginning. Back in the predevelopment phase when you were talking about what type of development should be built on your surplus land, you would have also been discussing who is going to own it and maintain it. Unlike a traditional developer who hopes you learn as you go, an experienced church adviser makes sure you have all facts and expectations set before you commit to construction.

Although congregation leaders certainly can set up internal operations and develop the capacity to oversee the operations of the development, it’s beneficial to outsource the property and asset management.

Why? What if your church developed affordable housing units for the surrounding community and a tenant gets behind on their rent? Do you, as the pastor, want to be the person responsible for evicting them? Probably not. To avoid contentious relations between the church and the community, it helps to preauthorize someone to operate the property so they can handle the nonperforming tenant, removing you from a potentially explosive conversation.

A well-conceived and properly designed development is only as successful as the management component. Outsourcing the operations to the professionals ensures that the development will be operated in a financially prudent and caring manner.

Once the property is stable and revenue is being generated, church partners share in project revenues and can reinvest that money into their ministry. If you want to leverage your church’s real estate and use it to achieve your ministry goals, the experienced community-minded real estate advisers at DCG Strategies can coordinate your project from beginning to end.