This is one of our B2B (business-to-business) web pages. If you’re an owner looking for information about our architecture services and related topics, please visit our Start Here web page. If you’re an investor or developer, this page is for you!
Over the past few years, television and other media sources have paid significant attention to people who profit by investing in real estate. What used to be understood and well executed by very few people seemed mainstream and easy to do… even though it’s not.
Many first-time investors + developers invest in a project without understanding the risks, process, laws, codes and responsibilities of the various parties. Learning painful lessons first-hand means you’ll probably risk more than you intended to rescue a project that’s getting away from you.
Here are three key things you can do to avoid the pitfalls and problems of the typical project:
- Partner with a mentor who’s experienced in the type of project you’d like to execute. You may have to split the profits but the skill set and contacts you build will be worth your investment.
- Work with your architect to execute the design before you start any work. That’s how you contain the scope of work, set your schedule and know your costs before you begin.
- Getting estimates for the scope of work described in your design allows you to build your team. Having all tasks assigned to members of your team will make you efficient and effective.
Whether you’re a first time investor|developer or a real estate veteran, having the right team makes all the difference. Of all we have to offer, our ability to think like an investor|developer is often the most critical skill we can bring to the team effort. Here are some notes about how we do that:
The Value of Design
Design should be effective and efficient in three dimensions. For us, that means design isn’t just about appearance. It’s about integration of the site plan, floor plan(s), form, style, function and details. If one of those doesn’t succeed, it diminishes the others.
Collaborative design allows us to create a more efficient design: we search for solutions that make the best use of the project budget. For example, finding efficiency in the plans, structural package and buildings systems allows us to include higher quality components and put more dollars into the wow factor things like kitchens, baths and finishes. That makes our projects more competitive against others delivered at the same price.
Design is especially important for our renovation and addition projects. We can’t just focus on what appears to be the immediate scope of work since these projects so often have a significant impact on the building systems of the property. In these situations, effective design means delivering creative solutions that appear original to the property while solving the problems that made the work necessary.
An Advocate’s Process
We typically work from the initial assessment of needs (programming) through the end of construction. Even if you’re just interested in a consultation (rent-an-architect), we can help you understand the phases through which a typical project moves. Since we pair that forecasting with a knowledge of construction, we can prepare you to make informed decisions in a timely manner. The astute investor uses this guidance to assess his|her risk before committing resources.
The range of services we offer respond to the common challenges we address day-to-day. Our limited-scope services like consulting, evaluations, site analysis and jurisdictional assistance give you the flexibility to address specific issues while controlling costs. Here are three significant yet common challenges for investors + developers:
- It’s easy to violate the zoning ordinance since they often contain metrics like lot coverage and floor area ration that must be calculated. Commissioning a site analysis allows you to know your limits and work within them – saving you a condemnation letter from the building inspector or public variance process in which you have to ask for forgiveness.
- Vacant houses in our hot + humid climate can quickly develop significant maintenance issues. From mold and mildew to water intrusion, foreclosures demand a more detailed evaluation than a home that has been maintained.
- We’re undoing more work than ever before. This isn’t limited to foreclosures and projects with deferred maintenance, it includes expensive, permitted work that was poorly conceived and|or executed. From structural work to roof flashing, you’d be surprised how many things have to be done (and paid for) more than once to avoid significant costs and call backs in the immediate future.
When we’re a team member, we’re happy to help you find other professionals with whom you can work. We’ve met and worked with lots of great people and we appreciate the opportunity to refer business.
Maintenance is a challenge shared by all property owners yet not all property owners are proactive about addressing the challenge. To protect the value of your investment and the occupants of the property, you need a maintenance plan. Thankfully most issues are monthly or seasonal though we also consult on issues that have evolved over longer periods.
One of the significant challenges you’ll face is the increasing amount of governance and regulation in our industry. From outlawed light bulbs to new water conservation requirements, maintenance isn’t as easy as it used to be. We can help you anticipate and incorporate these changes into your plan so you’re prepared for the difference in cost. This is particularly important for those of you with multiple properties.
We consume a tremendous amount of information in the course of our practice. We also meet and work with a significant number of people. This gives us a great perspective on emerging trends and technologies. It also helps us determine what’s holding its value.
Making the most of your budget is critical in such a competitive market. We can help you do that and give you the language to present the “why” behind our work. That intellectual investment is a valuable selling tool.
From the evolution of the Multiple Listing Service to impending building code changes, our perspective on can help you establish your place in the real estate market.
Whether you’d like to work us on a project or just need some help figuring out an issue on one of your projects, we’re happy to help with building science, building systems, code, space planning, structural, sustainable design and other issues you encounter.
If we don’t already know you, please take a moment to send us a note through our Contact page and use our social media links to get connected. You can also find more information on our Services page. Thanks!