Dealing with Architects, an issue of control!
My Construction Site
My name is David, I'm 23 years old, from Panama, and I have already wrote on this blog before.
I have been dealing in real estate since 17 as a real estate broker when end part of boom was going in 06-07.
I changed to real estate development after flipping a couple of homes in 2008 and started on my first development last year in a construction of 3 single family homes, which I have 2 in contract (sold), one more to go, and a 4 duplex complex on planning phase.
Previously before that I have dealt with 2 towers I tried putting up, but at some point, either the presales didnt comply at the projected speed in 09, neighbors in the area rejected the project.
After getting some permits, I had to deal with neighbors, the press, senators, municipal engineers, and environmental impacts institutions, all of them together against my projects which due to my initial inexperience.
I would rather resell the lots or plan to develop a minor project like a home or so. It has been a quite tough learning curve I have to say.
Well, the concern is the following:
In Panama, I dont know other countries, the initial pre-project approval, the construction permits that goes to fire department, health, structural municipal, and other entities where you do land segregation; all of this processes are done by an Architect.
My question is:
How you manage CONTROL over Architect, and over your plans, so your business is not dependent on 1 person when the Architect wants to do the job, or gets time after his other customers projects to get corrections done, etc.
I like to get things done, and get them done fast, but I really have to be on too much supervision. I dont use a payroll Architect, but a contract Architect as professional services.
Greetings from Panama Colm,
I hope you don't mind but I removed your surname from your email as I want to preserve your privacy and I remember your earlier email, as clearly you are a real 'get up and go guy'; congratulations.
THANK YOU FORE THE PHoTO OF YOUR SITE.
OK, the first thing to say is that frustration and tenacity are two features a developer get to know very well. The best antidote to frustration is to "keep your vision and goals clear."
Remember you are the President of your LIFE.
When you are considering a big project in the future, it is a good idea to think about your future neighbours. This is where they live and you don't.
Now, that is not necessarily a bad thing. It's just about how you decide to go about establsihing a relationship with the folk who live there.
I have made presentations to a community about my plans and taken questions from the floor.
I ususlly find that they appreciate that you are 'up front' about you plans and are better informed about the benefits I will bring to the place; employment (constuction and after building is finished); supply of materials and goods to the completed project; attracting more economic business opportunities to the area etc.
Now to your question about working with an architect.
First I want you to go back to my course and study it again, as I spend quite a bit of time on the consultants and how to go about interviewing and selecting them.
If this is done correctly at the beginning you will not have trouble. If they are contracting architects then they are in the business of providing a service.
So back to basics:
1. Select and interview at least 6 architects (all consultants in fact)
2. Do not take a project to the architect at an interview or else you will divert attention away from the main task and that is - can I work with this person - are they on the same wave length as me.
3. Are they fully qualified - look at their qualifications - that's what you would do if you were going to do if they were going to work in your own office as an employee.
So it's the same thing.
4. Look around their office. Is it organised or a mess?
Now I am not goIng to re-write my e-course here for you, but it is all there, so sit down and go through it again; OK?
HERE'S MY LAST POINT.
When someone wins a Gold Meddle in say sport and is intervied and asked how he/she did it, they always - always - always talk about the team of people who helped them.
So from that if you want to win Gold is it fair that you get there with the right team?
So I ask you, how important is it to spend time SELECTING (Interviewing) individuals until you find the right members of your team.
From your point of view it is VITAL!!
Real estate development is all about team work.
Now of you are going to engage one of these team members, it is important that you let them know how you operate and what you expect and when you expect it.
All I do after that is make a few phone calls to the team members before the next meeting to ensure they are on track with my work and that it will be ready for the next meeting.
As you are young and a 'go-getter' consider how your personality affects the individual you are talking too. Remember this is not an ego thing; this is not an "I'm the boss" and when I shout "jump" etc.
I am not saying that you are that type of person - I am just letting you know that an analysis of how you present yourself to people or groups is worth thinking about.
Write to me anytime David.