Evan Maindonald

My Story

I was originally born in New Zealand. I have lived in the UK since 1992 and have been involved full time in property development and investment since 2002. Prior to 2002, I owned investment property in the UK and New Zealand and so posesses property experience spanning a period of over 25 years.

I completed a degree in Computer Science at Auckland University and started myworking career in the technology industry in New Zealand in the late 80’s selling computer systems and networks. In 1992, Imoved to the UK and worked for British Telecom (BT) for a number of years, with a focus on sales of international telecoms networks. I completed an MBA at IMD in Switzerland, one of Europe’s top business schools, in 2000.

After completing my MBA, I worked for a technology start up in the UK for around a year and then started MELT Homes in 2002. In my spare time, I enjoy collecting and drinking fine wine, cooking, travelling, spending time with my partner Patricia and walking my dogs Brian and Arthur, two energetic Hungarian Wirehaired Vizslas.

One of the questions that people often ask me is how I got started as a Property Developer. In 2002, I had exited a technology startup with some capital behind me and decided to combine two things I’d been wanting to do for a long time. Start my own business and get more involved in property.

At the time, I had completed the refurbishment of a flat in Westminster in London and still owned a house in Battersea. I had moved out of London to Gloucestershire about a year before that and bought Danby Lodge, a Grade II Listed former hunting lodge which I refurbished and lived in for 10 years. I still own Danby Lodge and stay there when I am in Gloucestershire; it’s a peaceful haven and retreat from busy city life.

in 2002, I founded MELT Homes, a property development and investment company that builds individually designed contemporary properties which are designed around the way people live their lives. We started developing residential property in Gloucestershire and now do commercial and residental developments in London, Gloucestershire and Kent.

Since 2002 MELT Homes has built over 100 properties with a total value of over £22m and accumulated an investment property portfolio of over 50 residential and commercial properties.

We are currently working on four developments with total end values of over £50m. We have also crowdfunded over £1.5m in equity for our current projects and plan to crowdfund a further £5m in equity in the next six months.

My experience in property development includes refurbishment and conversion of existing buildings, including those which are listed, as well as construction of new build flats and houses, both on tight city centre sites and in rural greenfield and brownfield locations.

In 2013, MELT Homes completed the conversion of the The Lock Warehouse in Gloucester Docks, a Grade II listed Victorian former grain warehouse into 26 apartments with 3,000 sq ft of commercial space on the ground floor. A picture of the completed building is shown on the right.

Our focus on design led development has enabled us to regularly break the price ceiling in the areas in which our projects are located. By leveraging the value that inspired contemporary design can deliver, we deliver more for less.

I often present at property events and also appear as a panelist on Property TV’s Question Time series. I enjoy sharing the philosophy which underpins our approach to property development and the methods we have developed to structure development projects in a manner that minimises risk and maximises return on capital.

Being involved with projects which feature contemporary design and innovative technologies that are customised to people’s needs, is what excites and inspires me. I like helping people understand how to create, identify and be involved in interesting projects which make a postive impact on the world.

If you’re interested in learning how to become a property developer, refining your approach to development or you’re an investor who wants to better understand the property development process, please follow me here, or on Social Media (I’m most active on Instagram @EvanMaindonald) as I cover our approach in more detail.