For a lot of people, the property dream is building and developing for profit on the side. Settlement day can be life-changing for those whose projects run smoothly, but not every project goes according to plan. With many variables and a whole lot of knowledge required, some developers are left out of pocket and their dreams don’t become reality.

In this episode, Rebeka chats to Peter Kelly from Little Fish Property Developments to talk about how they help their clients every step of the way throughout the development process to avoid the common pitfalls that cause some projects to crumble. Somewhat like a turnkey solution to project management, Little Fish Property Developments guide their clients through each important step and take care of every detail, including the arduous and often annoying paperwork.

The Little Fish management team consists of Ben Drohan, Mark Walkley and Peter Kelly. Starting out developing for themselves and doing a darn good job of it, they soon had people requesting their help with project management, which led to the formation of Little Fish Property Developments. With over 20 years of experience, they’ve built a well-oiled machine and in this episode, Peter talks through what the Little Fish client experience looks like.

Rebeka and Peter discuss the common pitfalls that some developers can fall into and the four stages of development that need to be done well in order to have a successful project. Peter shares how their clients benefit from their wealth of knowledge, experience and established industry relationships and how Little Fish operate in full transparency, which builds the all-important trust.

Peter also shares his tips for anyone interested in developing for profit, with a big emphasis on research, reaching out to as many people as you can and knowing your numbers. Peter certainly knows his stuff and although developing isn’t easy, he sure does make it sound very doable. So if you’re thinking about developing, this episode is a must-listen for you.

If you have a topic or question you’d like us to cover, contact us here.


  • [1:40]: Peter’s role with Little Fish as Head of projects and how their clientele base is a mixture of investors, landowners and developers
  • [3:00]: How the team started out developing for themselves then got approached by other people to help manage their projects and how they go about educating people to avoid common pitfalls
  • [4:40]: The main value that Little Fish bring to their clients is that they are partnering them with the right people all the way through
  • [5:15]: Little Fish is somewhat like a turn-key solution to project management as they help clients throughout the entire project from site value, construction costs, architects and selling value
  • [6:40]: How there are a lot of variables along the way which can lead to developers losing money
  • [7:20]: The 4 important stages of developing that have to be done well: buying, planning and designing, building, marketing and selling and what can happen when these aren’t done right
  • [8:50]: How Little Fish operates on a fee for service basis and how it enables them to continue their own developments by maintaining cash flow
  • [10:15]: Operating in transparency builds trust and although Little Fish freely gives out information, clients still enlist their services because of the relationships they have established
  • [13:00]: Builders have a funnel of work so they will do a great job
  • [13:50]: Peter’s tips to those looking to develop: learn, make contacts, know your numbers but it’s also important to check the information and reach out to as many people as you can
  • [15:40]: A side by side development within 20km radius from the Melbourne CBD would be approximately 15-17% on overall project return, which is far more than an average income could save in that time
  • [17:28]: How developing can be very emotional and stressful but can be life-changing when settlement day comes
  • [19:15]: Knowing the numbers and the outcome from the beginning makes the process a lot more palatable. Variables aren’t as surprising.
  • [20:25]: How a lot of people will develop an existing property into 2 assets, selling one and living in the other


We have several Facebook Groups at BuildHer Collective.


BHC DevelopHers Circle and BuildHer Collective Members Only – these are closed groups for women who are doing our Build Like a BuildHer course or who have joined our DevelopHers Inner Circle.


Anyone is more than welcome to join our Women who Design, Decorate, Renovate & Build group. You will note that it’s a closed group but ask to join and if you’re into building and renovating, this is such an amazing and supportive FREE community, so come on and join in the building goodness!