At MIK Architecture, we solve challenges with our clients every day to design residential buildings that promote quality of life without sacrificing your Return on Investment. Today, the Coronavirus pandemic gives us another challenge. However, there are also COVID-19 opportunities for Residential Developers.
Firstly, we support and highly recommend staying at home and staying safe. Health should be our first and upmost concern. That being said, this pandemic gives us an excellent opportunity for anyone who would like to invest in Residential Developments: and you should start today!
Current COVID-19 Situation
No one is immune to the virus, less to the shutdown due to it. Residential development is not an exception. For that reason, we began thinking about what we could keep working on, and what was out of our hands.
First, let's look at the stages of a residential project, whether it's for development or personal one; they are the same. We usually think there are only two stages: design and construction (obviously), but there is also the planning phase. This phase of a project is the most underrated or not taken seriously enough, and should be commissioned before anything else.
As each project is unique and the requirements differ based on a multitude of factors, we should think of the planning phase as the foundation upon which the rest of the project is built. At MIK Architecture, we like to call this the Feasibility Study.
Then, we have the Design phase, which is self-describing: the project is designed and detailed for permitting and construction— lastly, the Construction stage: when we build, of course.
Due to the uncertainty of the current market state, it's hard to begin with both Design and Construction phases, understandably. However, this shouldn't mean to stop developing or launching new projects. This time, though, take the COVID-19 Opportunity and begin your project in a smart, safe way!
What will happen after COVID-19?
We now understand what is hard to start in a new residential project. Now imagine what will happen when the pandemic ends –and the State of Emergency is lifted.
There will be a rush of developers looking for architects, only to find that many others have also done so. They will pay the extra fee for their project to be accepted, and hopefully, be rushed. When done, they'll send their project to permitting, only to find out that there's an overflow of projects in the building department being revised.
After a longer than expected delay getting the permit, the construction industry now has many projects to pick and work for. And, once again, developers will pay an extra fee to attract those workers. Only to find out –midway– that there are change orders due to design mistakes made by rushing the design –further increasing the cost and time of the overall project.
In summary, those who begin with their project after the pandemic will encounter an overflow of projects, a delay during permitting, and higher design and construction costs due to –later– high demand. Not to mention the extra cost of errors by rushing the design.
So, What COVID-19 Opportunities?
As mentioned before, with the planning phase, you could get a great foundation, and reduce your project's risk, increase return on investment and have a great design. This phase is still valid and is one of the most significant COVID-19 Opportunities for residential developers.
With the planning phase finalized, you will have a better understanding of the need and options of your project. Most importantly, you'll have the confidence and knowledge of moving forward to the Design stage.
Whoever is ready to build at the end of the pandemic, will benefit from lower construction costs, as there will be many workers looking for jobs as soon as possible. Will have won time by doing the two stages that can be done today, and have everything ready as soon as construction can start.
Furthermore, even if the project hasn't gone through the permitting phase when reopening the state, you would have avoided the backflow of projects looking to restart asap.
Lastly, if you take the time that the planning phase should have, you'll save money in the long run by reducing design changes later on, including time and cost overruns during construction.
How to start?
Change the challenge into an opportunity. You can still protect your capital, make a better profit –with discounted cost and interest– and have a great design without sacrificing the other two. Start with a Feasibility Study today!
Typically, the Feasibility Assessment saves our clients thousands of dollars and weeks of lost time, not to mention the stress and headache of getting something wrong. When you combine it with the design phase later, they're the perfect COVID-19 Opportunities to take and implement now.
Accomplish them all from the safety of your home. Call or send us an email and begin the planning phase before its too late!
Matias Daroch, AIA
PS: At MIK Architecture, we continue delivering the same level of support and design that we accustomed to provide. We've employed proactive measures to ensure that our team can work remotely. We are well prepared and have experience in remote meetings with out of state clients. Request a Free Guideline Session here!