Risks in a development organization’s brand don’t necessarily come from single decisions made along the development project’s timeline. Much of the time, little errors or discrepancies made during the planning and design stages take time to fester unnoticed until they rear their heads in unexpected ways.
In this article, we will pinpoint several of the common brand-related issues that arise during a development project and how they can be avoided by consciously shifting the original plans. Keep these in mind, and you will be able to protect and enhance your brand through the rest of your developing career.
This is the final article in our continuing series on brand enhancement. In this series, we cover the basics of branding, why it is so important to a developer, and how a developer can use several strategies to increase long-term business through their image.
To catch the series from the beginning, follow the links below:
Missing critical schedule milestones
There are times in which going over schedule is unavoidable. The weather along the coast is – finicky, to say the least, and a series of tropical storms can push you back a week or two with no one to blame.
This being said, if there are issues with scheduling that have nothing to do with external forces, then this paints your organization in a bad light. Not only does this shorten your own opportunities and sales capabilities, it means that the investor’s return date is pushed back, and it generally just makes them uneasy. On top of this, members of the community may not take it too kindly if construction lasts longer than it should.
In order to avoid this issue, the trick comes down to creating a realistic schedule beforehand, which involves planning for contingencies and understanding achievable permit acquisition timeframes. Speculation has no place in a realistic schedule.
Missing critical pro forma budget targets
Unlike scheduling, large hole in a budget are more often than not due to negligence. Soft costs were not tallied correctly or errors were made in site-matching and design that required last-minute backtracking. Whatever the reason, the answer is just about as simple as with scheduling: create a realistic budget. For more information on creating a realistic budget, visit our series on Optimizing Development Yield and Risk Mitigation.
Expectations are not met
This can go one of a few ways:
- Site development and facility image that is below desired brand standards
- Development user experience that is below desired brand standards
- Design that does not match its surroundings
The point behind all of these is roughly the same. When expectations are not met, it is either because the expectations were set too high – which is a marketing issue – or that the product did not perform. In order to protect your brand, expectations for the product cannot be set out of reach. In order to enhance your brand, a product has to supersede its expectations at every turn.
Brand risks are a commonplace occurrence in any development project and are not to be feared. More often than not, they are the product of a decision made without considering the image consequence to the business, so the best information that we can give is to consider your image along with every decision throughout the development process.