Top Lessons Learned from 16 Years of Service
At TWG, housing is what we do. We’re highly trained and experienced in all aspects of housing from start to finish, so we know a thing or two about construction, development and management. Join us as we share some of our tips and tricks that have helped us over the years.
Communication is key After finance closes for a project, consider having an official kickoff meeting with all members of your development, construction, and management teams. During this meeting, have your full team discuss the commitments that were made (financial, state agency, city/town, service provider, etc.), the budget and schedule given, and introduce the internal team and their specific roles. This is a crucial stage that can make or break a whole project, and it all boils down to communication. The development team needs to clearly communicate everything that needs to be and go into the project, thus this meeting sets a precedent on the communication plan going forward.
Building for success Every housing community is different, which means how we build each one requires agility and expertise to face any challenges. Even the best laid plans can face complications, so it's important that all stakeholders are kept informed through the life of the project. General contractors should create progress reports to keep the full team – development, ownership, lenders, investors, and more – up-to-date on the timeline of the project. Additionally, think through what kinds of changes during construction can affect the project. Time, money, weather and more all play a factor in the expected completion date. These anticipated changes should be communicated and answered timely, with a game plan in place for each possibility. Finally, think about the worksite itself. Every site is unique – even a frequently used design may have to evolve to fit the specific terrain. An experienced general contractor knows how to be agile and assess potential courses of action to ensure the project can still be delivered on-time and on-budget.
Housing is more than design While design is a critical aspect of your new housing development, community makes it a home. The intended renting demographic can inform everything from unit mix selection to the services provided. Let’s talk about senior developments, for example. Seniors tend to stay longer, and this could be their last home. There are also less people in the household, whether it’s a single person or a couple, so typically studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms are best. Consider partnering with a local organization to provide supportive services for elders, use appropriate signage for those who are visually-impaired, and offer wider spaces in hallways and ramps in and out for anyone who is handicapped.
Particularly for senior developments, the greater community itself is a large aspect of what makes their housing so important. Plan for community-wide events for not just the seniors, but for their visiting families as well. Having ample community space is a great way to bolster their mental health. In particular, stock a community room with a full kitchen to fulfill their entertaining needs with their families, include a pet-friendly area so both seniors and families can bring their furry companions, and think through beneficial outdoor activities and amenities that will keep all residents fulfilled and happy.
We look forward to sharing more of our lessons learned with you throughout our upcoming blog series.
The entire team at TWG is dedicated to ensuring housing is a right for all, and we’re looking forward to working on more housing communities for decades to come. For more information on our latest communities, click here.