How to become a property developer with no money in the UK

We provide funding for experienced property developers for all types of commercial and residential property within mainland UK.

We aim to give careful consideration to those opportunities that may have been lost through lack of funding. If we see your vision, we will provide the finance and other support that you might need – enabling you to realise your goals and objectives.


We offer way more than just 100% development funding

We’re a property development company with a reputation for delivering outstanding developments. Whilst we’re based in the North West and we’re keen to add value to our great Northern cities, such as Manchester and Salford, we operate nationwide in the UK. Whether we develop properties ourselves or provide funding for them, we’re always passionate about providing quality developments that add value to our cities and towns. To date, we’re proud to have delivered over 2400 homes in the UK, and we continue to develop and fund residential and commercial properties all across the country. 

Property development is one of our most recent ventures – prior to this, our main service was providing property development finance for builders and developers, and this is something that we continue to do. If we see the potential in your proposed development and we believe in the vision, then we’re happy to provide the financial support that you need to make it happen. 

If you’re interested in getting into property development and you’re looking for ways to finance your next project, then we’d love to hear from you about your project and your requirements. To find out more about our property development finance options as well as our property investment opportunities and new homes, get in touch with Salboy today for more information and support. 

Who We Are & What We Do

As part of our growth and evolution, we became a developer ourselves – we’re passionate about creating amazing places to live, and our track record reflects this passion. Prior to this growth, Salboy started out as a lender, investing in development projects with equity holdings and assisting with the development process. Funding property developments is what we’ve always done, and it’s something we’re passionate about. If we align with your vision, we’d love to get on board with your project and assist with the funding.

We’re dedicated to creating the world’s best residential areas. We have the desire and commitment as Salfordians and Mancunians to invest in our great cities and provide people with fantastic living environments. Money is never a factor in our decisions. Instead, we make decisions based on what is best for the development and the people that will be working and living there. Our priority is always quality, whether we’re acting as the developer or the lender.

When it comes to designing and completing developments, we oversee the entire process, from concept to building and finally to completion, ensuring that quality and value are at the forefront at all times. We were established in Manchester, which is why we’re passionate about enhancing our Northern cities, such as Salford and Manchester. We’re also eager to deliver outstanding developments in cities all around the country; many of our developments are a key component of regeneration projects in major cities across the country, to encourage economic growth and prosperity.

We’re dedicated to offering nothing less than true quality and value, whether you’re looking for a new home, an investment opportunity, or development finance for your next construction project. As a developer, we devote our time, money, and resources to constructing developments that benefit the community and investors alike – our developments are excellent investment prospects. In terms of our development finance alternatives, we’re keen to assist contractors and developers with project funding (PDF). You’ll have access to our unrivalled knowledge and skills as both a lender and a developer to ensure that your project is a success right from the start.

Looking ahead to the future, we have a £950 million development pipeline in place, and we’ve already produced over 2400 homes and 3500 jobs. We’ll keep building on our achievements, channelling our passion and effort into the best developments possible. That’s exactly what we do here at Salboy.

What Is Property Development Finance?

Funding for developments is usually referred to as ‘property development finance’. This is a type of business finance that’s used for the development of residential, commercial or mix-use properties/units. Here at Salboy, our property development finance options are for builders and contractors, but the term encompasses several options that are suitable for different types of projects and developers. 

Usually, property development finance is used for large-scale funding, to fund significant projects such as renovation works or building from scratch. Development finance tends to be the most appropriate form of funding for the latter – many seek this funding for ground-up developments (PDF) which are, in other words, properties that are built from scratch. 

One of the main advantages of development finance is that you can receive 100% of the funding you need, and there’s an extremely high upper limit as to how much can be borrowed. Here at Salboy, we’re able to provide up to £4,000,000 of funds to get your project off the ground!

Property Development Finance Manchester


Which Finance Options Are Available?

Our funding for developers, contractors and developer-contractors is distributed through a range of products – Joint Venture, Salboy Build Partner and Salboy Equity Partner. Here’s what you can expect from each of the different products:

Joint Venture

  • Suitable for deals that are over £10million GDV.
  • Conditions usually include the appointment of DOMIS Construction as a contractor and then Salboy International as the selling agent.
  • Commonly used for major developments in inner-city locations that are multi-unit apartment schemes, sold both off-plan and overseas.

Salboy Build Partner

  • 100% debt and equity package.
  • Interest is charged on the funds drawn and the profit shared with the borrower after total GDC, including finance costs.
  • Joint Venture agreement established with the borrower and security held in a subsidiary of Salboy.
  • No personal guarantees are needed.

Salboy Equity Partner

  • 100% funding on the condition that the borrower’s contribution towards the purchase costs is secured by a 2nd charge. This must be behind a reputable senior debt provider.
  • Interest charges for this option are replaced by a profit share with the borrower after total GDC, including finance costs.

What To Expect From Our Property Development Finance

Our property development finance is like no other option out there in the sector. At a glance, here’s what to expect when you work with us on your development


We can provide full funding for property developments, including joint ventures with property investors and developers, as a privately held equity business. We can work with you as a builder, equity partner, or joint venture partner. If you require more financial assistance, we work alongside Goldentree Financial Services – our short-term lending partner – so this can be discussed and arranged if necessary, depending on the nature of your project. We can also offer financial solutions in collaboration with other senior debt suppliers.

When you choose to work with Salboy as your lender, you’ll reap the benefits of our expertise and not just our funding. As a lender and a developer, this puts us in a unique position to offer advice and expertise that is simply unrivalled. Because we’re also a developer, we understand the issues that you may face throughout the project. Yet by foreseeing these issues and helping you to adapt your approach, we can ensure that the projects end positively for all parties involved.

How To Get Into Property Development

Here at Salboy, we’re always keen to share our expertise to help those interested in property investment and development to make the most of their opportunities – just take our property investment tips as the perfect example of how we share our knowledge with potential and existing clients. Perhaps you’re interested in property development, but you’re unsure about where to start. Luckily, we’re on hand to help. 

If you’re looking to fund your development, then we’d love to hear about your project proposal. Get in touch with our team today by submitting the online contact form, emailing or calling 01925 852 278.

Consider your route and your business plan

If you know that property development is an area of interest to you, you need to decide what type of property developer you would like to be. This isn’t set in stone and you can change your direction in the future, but for your first project, it can help you to set clear goals and objectives. You’ll need to consider whether you’d like to renovate an old property, transform an empty building or build from scratch. For first time developers, the most common strategy is buy-to-let, where you buy a residential property for the purpose of renting it out to tenants. Then, you’ll need to decide whether the property will be sold or rented out once built.

Next, you’ll need to consider your business plan. You might be developing a property as a side-project alongside your regular job, but you should still think about your project like it’s a new business. Within your plan, you should outline how you plan on financing your project, the expected costs, the steps that are required to complete the development and what your desired outcome/goals are. Within this plan should also be an exit strategy – this is a plan for when you come to sell your property. It can help you to be prepared, so then you can maximise your profit and the potential return on your investment (ROI)

If you are setting up your own company, then you need to do your research and decide whether you would like to set up this business as a sole trader, a limited company, or a business partnership. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, setting up a limited company means that you become a company director and can claim against tax for your materials and other costs. However, it can also impact things like child tax credits, other benefits and the way that you receive an income. Your choice will likely be determined by your own set of circumstances and your experience levels, but each option should be considered and explored.

Finding profitable projects

When it comes to sourcing a profitable project, the key factor here is location. You should select a location that will attract people to the area – this is key for earning a profit on your project. Without tenants to inhabit the property or buyers to purchase it, then you could potentially lose money. 

Look for an area that has excellent transport links, amenities and a thriving economy. These locations – such as Manchester – tend to attract people to the area, meaning that there is then a demand for housing. If you plan on renting the property out once the project is completed, then it’s also important to look for an area with high rental yields. Similarly, you should ensure that you thoroughly research areas to source potential projects. For example, are there run-down premises that could be converted into a HMO development that’s high yielding?

Consider the extra costs and assess your affordability

When it comes to developing, purchasing or selling a property, there are various additional costs to consider. If you’re developing the property, you must consider the cost of materials, hiring tradespeople, contractors and quantity surveyors, decorating the property, the relevant insurance products and legal fees that are associated with developing a property. 

Being sensible, organising your finances and considering these extra costs will help you to assess whether property development is an affordable venture. Besides considering the extra costs, you should also consider how your finances would be affected if the property was vacant or if the market conditions change and affect the profit you’d make on the property, either when selling it or receiving rental payments. 

Continue to build your skillset and your knowledge 

No matter how experienced you are or how much knowledge you have, you should always make a conscious effort to build your skillset and your expertise. The property market and the development landscape is always changing – those that succeed will be knowledgeable in their approach, with the ability to remain flexible. You can always expand your knowledge simply by doing some online research, observing the property market and the changing conditions, and even taking courses to brush up on what you know.  

To stay informed, you should use online resources that provide news and updates regarding the property market and the development/construction industry, as well as tools that provide insights into market conditions. It’s also important to build your network so that you can make the most of the expertise of those around you. That includes other developers, estate agents, lettings agents and tradespeople, who can all share their skills.

What Makes A Successful Development?

Once you’ve considered your approach and your business plan for property development, then it’s important to make your development a worthwhile venture. Not only must you have the right skills to do well in the property development industry, but it’s vital to know what makes a successful property development. With our track record of delivery here at Salboy, we know what it takes to build a great development and to get the most out of the opportunity. 

Properties in a good location

To make the right choice when it comes to deciding which location to develop in, there are several considerations that you need to make. Picking the right location is key to ensuring that your development is a worthwhile venture and will provide a good return on investment for all parties involved. First and foremost, it’s important to choose a desirable location – the area should attract residents, including both buyers and tenants. You may wish to consider the amenities in the area as well as transport links, job opportunities and access to schools, depending on your target market.

You should also consider the rental yields in the area, if you plan on developing properties that are available to rent, or will be purchased as buy-to-lets. This ensures that you, or any investors that buy the units, receive a good return on investment. Investors will be looking for locations with high rental yields, so providing these opportunities ensures that your developments are in high demand. Locations with a consistent flow of tenants are usually the highest yielding – areas with a considerable student population are a great example of this. 

Other important factors include the investments that are being made in that area, as well as population growth. If an area is subject to regeneration and significant investments, it usually means that the city becomes a desirable place to live due to its thriving economy. As for population growth, this shows that there is a demand for housing in the area.

Those that are built with the market in mind

It might be tempting to put your personal taste first, but you should avoid the temptation to do so and let the market inform your decisions. As such, you should focus on creating a development that appeals to the broader market and that will meet the needs and demands of your target demographic. It’s all about striking the right balance between sticking to your budget and being sensible with your finances, whilst also ensuring that the development is of high quality and will appeal to the market that you’re targeting. 

Here, it’s important to do your research about the market, looking at which locations are desirable, what tenants look for in the area, and any changes in the property market that may impact your development. Putting the needs of your target market and quality first will set you up for success.

Properties that are suitable for sale and rental

Your aim might be to sell your development, yet considering the feasibility of the development and the potential rental income it may generate is still important. Focusing on creating a development that’s suitable to sell or rent allows you to remain flexible in your strategy. For instance, if market conditions mean that house prices increase and there are few buyers around, then the demand for rental properties increases. Then, you could capitalise on this situation if your property is built with the rental market in mind. Remaining flexible and in the know about market conditions that could affect your strategy or your development is important for being a successful property developer.

Quality builds

Successful property developers will be driven by quality, as opposed to quantity and a focus on numbers – that’s what makes the development a success too. All too often, many developers will try to maximise the number of units on a property and, as a result, the quality of the development is compromised. If you do not deliver quality developments, you risk losing a lot of money in the long run – people will soon realise, and this could seriously affect your reputation. 

To be known as a credible developer and to make your development successful, you need to prioritise quality at all times – delivering quality should drive your decisions. This means including key features and amenities into the development to make it an enjoyable space to work and play, whilst also ensuring that the building is safe and secure. People want to live or work in an environment that isn’t just enjoyable, but safe too. Here at Salboy, we’re always putting quality first, whether that’s through our own developments or those that we provide funding for. We’re committed to assisting with the entire process to ensure that quality is maximised and never compromised.

Those that have been designed and built by experts

Successful developments will stand the test of time and that’s largely because they’ve been designed and built by a team of experts. When embarking on a property development project, it’s important to have the right people on your side. These types of projects are complex, and you need a highly skilled team to help deliver a quality development. This goes beyond the builders that are working on the development and extends to the lawyers, accountants, project managers, estate agents and the finance team working on the project – each person plays a vital role in ensuring that the development is a success. 

When it comes to picking the right team, it’s important to do your research and to feel confident that they’re going to deliver. You should take a look at their reputation and previous work, as well as any case studies, testimonials and reviews to ensure that they’re reputable and reliable. This is especially important for the designers and builders that will be working with you. Their role is vital in ensuring that the development is safe and of high quality, which is crucial for its success.

What Skills Does A Property Developer Need?

Whilst the success of a development can largely depend on its location and quality amongst other factors, it also relies on the skills of the property developer. With the right skill set, developers can spot the right opportunities, make wise business decisions and get the most from their projects. Property developers, regardless of their experience and knowledge, should also look for ways to expand their skill set – this will pay off dividends when it comes to their property developments and how well they succeed. 

Here are some of the skills that property developers need, to become successful in the development industry:

Research skills 

First and foremost, property developers must be good researchers. Many developers create their success by researching things like the best places to build, the changing market conditions and any relevant trends or issues that may affect the success of their development. If you go into property development, you must have the right research skills. Staying in the know can also help you to adapt whenever necessary, altering your strategy to overcome potential problems and pitfalls.


The property industry and the landscape is ever-changing, based on numerous factors including the wider economy. When market conditions change, you need to have the flexibility to adapt to the situation and change your strategy if needed. Ultimately, remaining flexible when faced with a potential problem is crucial. As well as this, many property developers will often work on multiple projects at a time, so you must have the ability to switch your focus from one to the other, without compromising on the quality of any of the developments.

The ability to work under pressure

There’s no denying that working within the property industry can be tough at times, so property developers must have the ability to work under pressure, whilst remaining resilient in the face of any setbacks. Knowing how to handle a situation and persevering when issues arise is key to ensuring that your development project is a success, not just for you but for all parties involved.

Technical knowledge

To succeed as a property developer, you need to have the technical knowledge to execute the development well. Even if you have decades of experience under your belt, always seeking opportunities to further your knowledge will certainly pay off – the property landscape is always evolving, so staying ahead of the game and keeping your knowledge to a high standard will ensure that you can spot issues and know what means for your project whilst navigating the development process. 

Leadership skills

When it comes to development projects, there are so many people involved – each person is a cog in a big machine. To successfully complete the project, and to a high standard, it’s vital that everyone knows what they need to do and does it well. As such, there needs to be a clear leader to project manage the development. Every developer should have great leadership skills – including communication skills – which gives them the ability to coordinate and lead a team.


Whilst having the right technical skills and knowledge is important, having a passion for what you do can get you far. If you’re passionate about property development, you’re more likely to invest your time into expanding your knowledge and conducting the necessary research, all of which can ensure that the development is a success. With that in mind, passion is an important foundation to build your skills and your knowledge.

Costs To Consider When You’re Executing A Property Development Project

When you’re working on a property development, there are several costs to be aware of. Some of these can be obvious, whereas others may be overlooked or even unpredicted. Being aware of these costs, and the possibility of any additional costs, can help you to plan strategically and budget accordingly. This will help you to ensure that the project is completed successfully with minimal financial difficulties. 

Hiring contractors

Depending on your team and your project, you may find that you have to hire contractors to help you with your property development. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and consider how much this may cost. Then, you can factor this into your plan and you’re prepared for how much this cost may set you back. It’s important to factor it into your financial plan and your budget to ensure that you’re prepared.

Fees associated with your method of lending

Depending on lending decisions and the type of project you’re working on, you may be charged fees. For example, if you decide to take out a mortgage, then there are fees related to this and the use of an estate agent. When you choose to work with Salboy, you won’t face any fees for receiving our funds. Because of the lending models we use, we don’t charge any fees to our borrowers and instead, we ask for a 50/50 profit share.

Legal fees

Property development is a complicated process with many legal barriers to overcome. Even if you seek any legal advice, this will likely come at a cost. For matters such as land acquisition, planning issues, contracts and infrastructure agreements, you may have to seek legal assistance from a lawyer or a solicitor. They will charge a fee for their services, so it’s important to be aware of these extra costs that you may incur. 

Materials and labour

It’s important to consider the construction cost – one of the greatest costs will be for materials and labour, especially if you want your development to be of the highest quality and meet all the necessary standards. It can often be hard to find the right materials and labourers for the project but when you choose Salboy as your lender, we can support you in sourcing the right materials and the right people. As a developer ourselves, we know what, and who, makes an exceptional development. 

Surveys and assessments

You’ll need to carry out various surveys and assessments, to ensure that your project is viable. You may be able to do some of these yourself, but many require input from a professional – this is especially true for the assessments that are needed to gain planning permission. Many checks will be carried out to assess flood risks, obstructions and obstacles that may impact the quality of the development and the trees and wildlife that are nearby, that may be impacted. These assessments will come at a cost, so it’s important to factor them into your budget and your funding proposals. 

Maintenance, repairs and solutions for structural issues

Depending on your type of project, you may encounter structural issues such as asbestos and subsidence that must be addressed. Similarly, if you’re using an old building for your development project rather than working ‘from the ground up’, there may be maintenance and repairs that need to be done throughout your project. Even if you are building from scratch, over time, elements of the development may require maintenance, all of which comes at a cost. Of course, the cost will vary depending on the level of maintenance required, but it’s important to be aware of these potential costs. 

Selling units or the development

When your project is complete, you need to consider the cost of selling the units, or the entire development, if this is part of your plan. Whilst you’ll make money from the sale, it will cost you in the meantime. If you use the services of an estate agent, for example, then you need to factor in the cost of this as well as any marketing/advertising costs, valuation fees and legal fees. Alternatively, if you choose to rent the units out, then you will have to consider any costs associated with property management, if you hire a company or an estate agent to take care of your asset and the tenancies.

Choose Salboy For A Unique Kind Of Funding

If you’re looking to fund a property development project, look no further than our experienced team here at Salboy. Perhaps you have money put aside, but you’d rather keep this for other business matters. Or maybe you have previously funded a project with your own funds, but now you’d like to start a second project with our help. Whatever your reasons are for seeking funding, we can provide you with unrivalled expertise and an experience like no other. 

We understand that a consistent cash flow throughout the process is essential to completing the project successfully. That’s why we’ve devised an efficient drawdown process – following the relevant QS inspections, funds are ready to be sent to developers within hours of their request. Yet when you work with us on your development, it goes far beyond liquidity. You won’t just have access to funding, but you’ll have access to our expertise and wealth of knowledge. 

We understand borrowers better than anybody else in the property sector – as a developer ourselves, we truly understand and appreciate what it takes to execute an outstanding project. With live and valuable information throughout the entire project, we can help you to foresee issues and find solutions to potential problems. It also means we can help you to adjust your approach if key factors change, such as market conditions.

Besides access to our expertise, you’ll also benefit from our contacts when it comes to sourcing labourers and materials. We deliver thousands of units every year and can therefore assist with the materials and labour that you can’t source. Whilst this isn’t strictly a lender’s responsibility, we feel a moral obligation to support good borrowers wherever possible, considering that all our deals are made on a 50/50 basis. We nurture relationships with our borrowers from the outset. 

Central to our approach is the appreciation of property purchases. Investing in a property, whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned landlord, is a significant milestone, and that should always be at the forefront of the decision-making process. That’s why we’re always keen to contribute, with funding and knowledge, to developments that we see potential in – if we see your vision, we’ll support you. We also put quality at the heart of everything we do, whether that’s through our funding or our own developments. We ensure that any development ends successfully for all parties involved, and adds true quality and value to its wider environment. 

Similarly, we’re always looking for ways to add value to the towns and cities that we choose to develop in. As Northerners, we’re inevitably passionate about adding value to locations such as Salford and Manchester, as well as the communities within those areas. We’re always keen to play our part in the growth of cities and wider regeneration projects, such as the recent regeneration of Salford. And whilst Northern towns and cities are always special to us, we’re passionate about adding value and quality developments all over the UK. 

Ultimately, we’re committed to creating meaningful places that people are proud to call home and work, whether that’s through our developments or those that we provide development funding for. At every stage, quality is always prioritised and never sacrificed, from the earliest planning stages to the delivery of our projects. We always ensure that we’re aligned with the local authorities and communities to deliver a project that meets the wider goals and objectives of the area. Another integral part of our quality commitment is our focus on sustainability. As a developer and a lender, we take our social responsibility very seriously. We’re always looking for ways to create greener and more sustainable places for people to live, work and play.

Are You An Experienced Property Developer Seeking Funding For Your Next Project? Enquire With Us Today

When you choose to work with us on your latest property development, you’ll have access to so much more than just funding. Because we’re a lender and a developer, our insight and knowledge regarding the construction industry and the property market are simply invaluable. With this knowledge, we’re able to foresee any issues before or as they arise, helping us to find a prompt solution and adjust our strategy accordingly. This unique position and understanding mean that whatever project we assist with, using our expertise and our experience, we’ll ensure that it ends well for all parties involved. 

If you’d like any more information about our finance options or you would like to discuss your proposal and seek funding, then we’d love to hear from you. We also welcome enquiries from those interested in finding out more about our new homes directly from the developer, as well as our investment opportunities. To learn more about our property development finance, our new homes or our available investment opportunities, then contact us by completing the online form or getting in touch with the relevant team.